Eculizumab (5G1.1), a humanized monoclonal antibody that prevents the cleavage of human complement component C5 into its pro-inflammatory components, is under development by Alexion as a potential treatment for several chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and nephritis , . In January 2002, a phase IIb trial was initiated for RA . This trial was ongoing in April 2002, at which time, eculizumab was also in phase II trials for the treatment of membranous nephritis and lupus nephritis, and in earlier stage clinical trials for dermatomyositis and pemphigoid . The company is also developing a single-chain version of this antibody, pexelizumab, for use in acute cardiovascular indications . In October 2000, eculizumab was granted Orphan Drug status by the FDA for the treatment of dermatomyositis . In February 2002, the product received Orphan Drug designation for its use in patients with membranous nephritis . In September 2001, analysts at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray predicted eculizumab's launch for dermatomyositis and pemphigus in 2003, RA and nephritis in 2004, and chronic heart failure (CHF) after 2006 . In March 2002, analysts at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray predicted that the product would have peak worldwide sales in RA of US $175 million and US $400 million for nephritis. Sales for the RA indication are predicted to reach US $35 million in 2006, rising to US $110 million in 2008, and US $10 million in 2006, rising to US $50 million in 2008, in the US and the rest of the world, respectively. For the nephritis/other indication(s), sales are pegged at US $50 million in 2006, rising to US $200 million in 2008, and US $15 million in 2006, rising to US $100 million in 2008, again in the US and the rest of the world, respectively .