Merck (Germany) has initiated a phase III trial for a biosimilar of AbbVie’s Humira, to treat Chronic plaque psoriasis. This is a big deal as Humira is the best selling biologics of all time (over €10Bn in annual revenues).
MSB11022 has the same action mechanism, binding the tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) – a cell signalling protein produced by cells of the immune system. Blocking TNF-α reduces the inflammation response, and thus could have applications in many inflammatory diseases.
Merck is now advancing with phase III trial (AURIEL-PsO) for Chronic plaque psoriasis. This double-blind study will enrol 406 patients in the US and Germany, and is sponsored by the US arm of Merck, EMD Serono.
Merck expects to have top-line data in the end of 2016.