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J&J’s IL-23 drug guselkumab outstrips the competition in Phase III trial

Published on 03/10/16 at 11:08am

Johnson & Johnson’s IL-23 drug guselkumab proved to be more effective at clearing moderate to severe cases of the plaque psoriasis than a placebo or AbbVie’s blockbuster drug, Humira. The data comes from a Phase III trial where 73 percent of patients who received the drug experienced near complete clearance compared with 2.9 of those who received a placebo and compared with Humira’s results of close to 50%. Statistically, the drug is far ahead of Humira.

"These responses were durable and maintained through week 48," Dr. Andrew Blauvelt, lead researcher of the Phase III trial from the Oregon Medical Research Center, said in a statement.

"Guselkumab also showed superior efficacy compared with adalimumab, with a separation in responses that was evident at week 16 and continued through the duration of the trial,” added Blauvelt, adalimumab being the chemical name for Humira.

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory disorder that results in sometimes painful, scaly and inflamed skin patches. An estimated 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

The data that were released are from the first Phase III trials and there are still two further trials to undergo. A Phase II study evaluating guselkumab in the treatment of moderately to severely active psoriatic arthritis is also ongoing.

Ben Hargreaves

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