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Eli Lilly, Incyte's lupus drug gets US FDA fast-track status

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted fast-track designation to Eli Lilly and Co. and Incyte Corp.'s Olumiant for treating lupus.

Olumiant, or baricitinib, is being evaluated by Eli Lilly in late-stage studies to treat systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in connective tissues such as cartilage and the lining of blood vessels.

Eli Lilly is also investigating baricitinib as a potential treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a serious form of eczema. The late-stage results are expected to be available in the first half of 2019.

The drug is approved to treat adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, inhibitor therapies. TNF inhibitors are medicines that help stop inflammation.