Johnson & Johnson is starting to have more share in the treatment of psoriasis, a painful skin condition, as the Big Pharma company released results of a study on Thursday.[File Photo]
Johnson & Johnson is starting to have more share in the treatment of psoriasis, a painful skin condition, as the Big Pharma company released results of a study on Thursday.
The study in a late stage showed Johnson & Johnson’s psoriasis drug ustekinumab (also called Stelara) was more effective than Enbrel, now a leading drug for psoriasis in the market, and equally safe.
The study was the first to help Johnson & Johnson's psoriasis treatment challenge that of Enbrel, which is jointly marketed by Wyeth and Amgen and currently commands 75 percent of the global market.
The global market will be worth about 1.1 billion dollars in 2008 and is expected to reach 3 billion in 2010, estimated Mike Weinstein, analyst of JPMorgan Chase.
Johnson & Johnson's study, unveiled in Paris, showed that ustekinumab cut the severity of the psoriasis by 68 percent in patients taking a 45 milligram dose and 74 percent, a 90 milligram dose. Patients taking 50 milligrams of Enbrel only saw a 57 decrease in their disease.
Both drugs are given through injections, but Johnson & Johnson said ustekinumab would be administered not as frequently.
"These findings reinforce the promise of Stelara as an infrequently administered and highly effective biologic therapy for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe psoriasis," trial investigator Bruce Strober was quoted as saying.
Johnson & Johnson also produces the psoriasis drug Remicade with little market share because the drug is more invasive than the other medications as it is given using an IV.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel unanimously recommended approval of Stelara. However, seven of the panel’s 11 members expressed concerns about the self-administration of the injections and recommended that the drug be given by a physician.
"This recommendation takes away from the convenience advantage of the product," said Raymond James analyst Jayson Bedford.
(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2008)