The chess pieces are moving again in the blockbuster marketing game of immunology drugs.
This morning it’s Eli Lilly’s $LLY turn to make a move, spotlighting positive Phase III results for its blockbuster hopeful Taltz (ixekizumab) for ankylosing spondylitis.
All we have is the top-line result against a placebo, though, in a field where Novartis $NVS has continued to expand on longterm outcomes for patients with its first-to-market blockbuster Cosentyx. Lilly boasts that Taltz scored on the primary and all the secondaries in the study as it preps new regulatory filings.
Looking to revive flagging sales, Lilly gained a fresh approval to sell Taltz for psoriatic arthritis last December, opening up a US market with more than 1.5 million patients. But once again, Novartis has a big lead on that score.
And don’t count out J&J’s $JNJ Tremfya (guselkumab) or even the less competitive Siliq (brodalumab) from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which snagged it from an unexcited AstraZeneca post-Phase III.
Lilly used an ASAS 40 rating at 16 weeks for the primary endpoint in this new study, doubling the usual ASAS 20 mark.
“Many people with this chronic, debilitating disease are still searching for an effective treatment. These initial results suggest that Taltz, if approved for this indication, may have the potential to help people with this challenging disease,” said Lotus Mallbris, vice president and immunology platform team leader, Lilly Bio-Medicines.
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