Corbus's lead drug succeeds in mid-stage scleroderma study

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[November 14, 2016]  (Reuters) - Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc said its lead drug outperformed a placebo in a mid-stage study involving patients with a form of systemic sclerosis, an incurable autoimmune condition caused by abnormal growth of connective tissue.

The trial tested the drug, resunab, against a placebo in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, the less common form of the condition that has a higher risk of death.

Patients on resunab scored 33 percent on an index that evaluates changes in skin hardening and lung capacity, while those on the placebo scored zero after 16 weeks, Corbus said on Monday.

A score of 20 percent or more is considered clinically meaningful.

Systemic sclerosis, also called scleroderma, comes from the Greek words for "hard skin". The disease is characterized by vascular damage and scarring or fibrosis of the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, heart, lungs and other internal organs.

No existing drug can stop the progression of systemic sclerosis, but there are medicines that can relieve certain symptoms and reduce organ damage.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Beng

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