* La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., of San Diego, has initiated a PhaseII/III clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LJP 394, itsdrug candidate for lupus. LJP 394 is designed to reduce the levels ofdouble-stranded DNA antibodies, which are believed to beresponsible for lupus nephritis, a principal cause of morbidity andmortality in lupus patients. Phase II results indicated that in patientswho received weekly doses of LJP 394, levels of dsDNA antibodieswere reduced up to 48 percent and levels of two importantcomplement proteins involved in inflammation, C3 and C4, werenormalizing in parallel.

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