UCB tries to win some re­spect in the crowd­ed pso­ri­a­sis mar­ket with a dual IL-17 ap­proach — and it won't be easy

For a phar­ma com­pa­ny with about $5 bil­lion in rev­enue, a cou­ple of re­spectably sized block­buster drugs on the mar­ket and some high-pro­file part­ners like Am­gen, Bel­gium’s UCB has kept an un­usu­al­ly low pro­file on the pipeline side of things over the years.

Un­til now.

Just days af­ter strik­ing a $2.1 bil­lion deal to buy Ra Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and its C5 ri­val to Soliris, UCB is post­ing pos­i­tive top-line Phase III re­sults for a dual IL-17 in­hibitor that it’s steer­ing in­to one of the most com­pet­i­tive com­mer­cial spaces in the in­dus­try. And de­spite plen­ty of ob­vi­ous chal­lenges as they strug­gle to roll out Eveni­ty with Am­gen and patent ex­pi­ra­tions loom on its fran­chise drugs, in­clud­ing Cimzia, the com­pa­ny just may be ready to tack­le some of the biggest play­ers on the plan­et.

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