UCB buffs up in blockbuster psoriasis race as bimekizumab beats Humira in head-to-head
Just weeks after boasting head-to-head victories over first placebo and then J&J’s IL-23 contender Stelara in clearing psoriasis, the results are in for UCB’s last Phase III trial, in which bimekizumab went up against the world’s best-selling drug.
Only topline results are provided for today’s readout of the BE SURE study, so we won’t find out just how superior bimekizumab proved against Humira on the co-primary endpoints — standard scores known as PASI90 and IGA measuring the impact and severity of the disease — until a scientific conference in 2020.
UCB added that its dual IL-17 inhibitor (which blocks both IL-17A and IL-17F) beat Humira in terms of total skin clearance at weeks 16 and 24, as well as achieving rapid response by week 4.
“Today’s BE SURE findings are consistent with the positive results we recently announced for both BE VIVID and BE READY,” Iris Loew-Friedrich, head of drug development and chief medical officer, said in a statement. “UCB is committed to addressing the critical unmet needs of adult patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, particularly complete skin clearance.”
It’s not just them, though, as major league players like Novartis are just as keen as on the market. UCB is conducting another Phase III head-to-head with Novartis’ Cosentyx that will play a big role in pushing up analysts’ projections on peak sales, which currently fall well short of blockbuster status.
The Belgian biotech has previously suggested that they are on track for regulatory submissions in the middle of next year.