- Johnson and Johnson's psoriasis drug Stelara proved effective against moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease, potentially setting up the blockbuster drug for an expanded indication, the company said on Friday.
- Stelara is a major drug for J&J's Janssen, earning over $2.4 billion last year. However, it faces increasing competition from Novartis' Cosentyx.
- The phase 3 study showed 34% of patients treated with Stelara saw a clinical response after six weeks, compared to 22% who received a placebo. After eight weeks, 16% of patients receiving a fixed dose achieved clinical remission.
Novartis' Cosentyx is nipping on the heels of Stelara. Earlier in March, Novartis announced Cosentyx had bested Stelara in a 52-week head-to-head trial comparing effectiveness at clearing skin. The FDA also recently approved Cosentyx for the treatment of anklylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis, potentially giving the drug a competitive edge. (Stelara is not approved for AS.)
Stelara is a monoclonal antibody which targets interleukin-12 and interleukin-23 cytokines. Cosetnyx, on the other hand, works by inhibiting IL-17A.
Janssen has applied for approval of Stelara for the treatment of Crohn's disease in Europe and the United State.