Ther­a­vance takes a gut punch as J&J-part­nered JAK drug flops key test in ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis

When J&J signed a $100 mil­lion check away to biotech Ther­a­vance back in 2018, the drug gi­ant saw some promise in the com­pa­ny’s lead “pan-JAK” drug in in­flam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­ease. A key tri­al check­point for that is now of­fi­cial­ly a dud — and the J&J deal may be dead in the wa­ter as well.

Ther­a­vance’s izenci­tinib, a “gut-se­lec­tive” JAK in­hibitor de­vel­oped for ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis and Crohn’s dis­ease, failed a key Phase II test, giv­ing the com­pa­ny no choice but to slice R&D costs on that pro­gram and send in­vestors run­ning for the hills. A planned Phase III study in UC al­so won’t be hap­pen­ing, ex­ec­u­tives con­firmed on a Mon­day call with an­a­lysts.

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