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Amgen and AZ's psoriasis antibody clears phase III trial

Brodalumab meets its targets in the AMAGINE-1 study

Amgen 

AstraZeneca's antibody alliance with Amgen has taken a leap forward with lead candidate brodalumab for psoriasis meeting its targets in a phase III trial.

The results of the AMAGINE-1 study showed that brodalumab, an interleukin-17 (IL-17) receptor blocker, met all its primary and secondary objectives in a trial involving patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis.

The data revealed that it the highest dose tested brodalumab cleared more than 75 per cent of the skin lesions on 83 per cent of patients, with 42 per cent having a complete absence of psoriatic patches after 12 weeks' treatment.

The positive data reinforce earlier phase II results with the drug, and sets the project on course for a possible regulatory filing provided a head-to-head trial with Johnson & Johnson's IL-12/IL-23 blocker Stelara (ustekinumab) - due to report in the fourth quarter of this year - is positive.

Maintaining a stream of positive R&D news is particularly important for AZ at the moment as it faces a takeover offer from Pfizer, given that its defense rests on the depth and breadth of its product pipeline.

Brodalumab - which is also in late-stage trials for psoriatic arthritis and phase II as an asthma treatment - was highlighted in AZ's strategy presentation last week as having the potential to reach somewhere between $500m and $1.5bn in peak sales.

AZ and Amgen forged their antibody collaboration in 2012, focusing on new therapies for inflammatory disease, with Amgen taking the lead on brodalumab and AZ heading up three other candidates for asthma and inflammatory bowel diseases.

The two companies are in a race with Eli Lilly and Novartis to bring an anti-IL17 drug to market for psoriasis.

Novartis' secukinumab completed a phase III trial last October and the drug currently in a head-to-head trial versus Stelara, which pulled in $1.5bn in sales last year. Meanwhile, Lilly's ixekizumab has also shown promising efficacy in phase II and is in the midst of phase III testing.

Article by
Phil Taylor

12th May 2014

From: Research

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