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Lilly posts promising P3 Taltz data

Published on 14/02/18 at 10:18am

The IL-17 market is a crowded space, and one dominated by Novartis’ Cosentyx. Eli Lilly is attempting to challenge that, after posting that it had hit all primary and secondary endpoints for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis.

Lilly’s Taltz was the second IL-17 treatment to be approved in psoriasis, in 2016, and then later last year in psoriatic arthritis. However, Novartis’ drug has been approved in plaque psoriasis since the beginning of 2015 – giving it plenty of space to build up its lead in the area.

Novartis’ treatment has garnered the company billions in sales already (with sales growing to $2.1 billion in 2017), and Lilly will be hoping that it can hoover up smaller indications to acquire its own portion of sales.

Lilly used ASAS40 as the primary endpoint, rather than ASAS20 endpoint that Novartis used in its initial approval in the area. The move could signal more aggression on Lilly’s part to differentiate its treatment from Cosentyx.

Though Lilly didn’t release the details, it revealed that Taltz had managed to show statistically significant improvements in the symptoms of AS as measured by ASAS40.

 The full details of the trial will be released later this year, with the results used to support approval of an expanded indication to include AS.

“Many people with this chronic, debilitating disease are still searching for an effective treatment. These initial results suggest that Taltz, if approved for this indication, may have the potential to help people with this challenging disease,” said Dr. Lotus Mallbris, Vice President and Immunology Platform Team Leader, Lilly Bio-Medicines. “At Lilly, the unmet needs of people living with autoimmune diseases drive our commitment to continue investing in novel science, developing medicines that may reduce the burden of disease and aim to raise the bar for treatment expectations.”

Alongside Novartis’ and Lilly’s treatments, there are also Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya and Valeant’s Siliq – though the latter is significantly hamstrung by a boxed warning regarding possible suicide ideation and behaviour, making it unlikely to achieve significant sales compared to the other players in the market.

Ben Hargreaves

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