New results from a Phase III trial show that guselkumab, an antibody therapy for the autoimmune disease plaque psoriasis, is performing better than the number one best-seller drug Humira (adalimumab) from AbbVie. The new drug is expected to be commercially available as early as 2018.
Since MorphoSys licensed guselkumab to Janssen Biotech, in 2007, the drug has been performing admirably. Now, results from Phase III trials with 837 patients have confirmed the efficacy of the drug and its superiority against Humira. The new drug achieved near complete skin clearance in 73% of plaque psoriasis patients against 66% for Humira.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects 125 million people in the world and 14 million Europeans. The disease consists in the overproduction of skin cells, creating inflamed lesions that can lead to disability in severe cases. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form, accounting for 90% of the cases.
The new candidate, guselkumab, is a fully human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-23 that is delivered subcutaneously.