No­var­tis bags a new eczema drug, builds der­ma­tol­ogy pipeline with Ziar­co buy­out

Two days af­ter Pfiz­er won an FDA ap­proval for a new drug for atopic der­mati­tis which it ac­quired in a $5.2 bil­lion buy­out, No­var­tis has stepped in to snap up a mid-stage eczema ri­val that was spun out of the wreck­age Pfiz­er left be­hind at Sand­wich. No­var­tis, which gen­er­al­ly hates to dis­cuss deal terms, is keep­ing the num­bers un­der wraps for now.

The ob­ject of its af­fec­tion is Ziar­co, a 5-year-old up­start that has gath­ered pos­i­tive mid­stage da­ta to­geth­er for ZPL389, an oral drug that achieved sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant re­sults for its H4 re­cep­tor an­tag­o­nist. The Phase IIa de­liv­ered a 50% drop in EASI scores at 8 week, com­pared to 27% for the place­bo. And the SCO­RAD marks reg­is­tered a drop of 43% against 26%. The Phase IIb was slat­ed to start in the sec­ond half of this year.

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