Eli Lilly and Company
) announced encouraging top-line results from three pivotal studies
under the phase III UNCOVER program (n=3,866) on ixekizumab. The
candidate is being developed for the treatment of
moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.
Patients were randomized to receive placebo or ixekizumab (80 mg
every two or four weeks) in three of the UNCOVER studies for 12
weeks after a starting dose of ixekizumab (160 mg). In two of the
active comparator studies, patients could be administered with
Amgen Inc.'s (
) Enbrel (etanercept) twice weekly for 12 weeks. Treatment
responders from these studies were again randomized to continue
treatment with placebo or ixekizumab for up to 60 weeks.
Results from the studies revealed that ixekizumab was statistically
superior to both Enbrel and placebo on all skin clearance measures.
Moreover, the company stated in its press release that the study
has met all key objectives. Based on the positive results the
company plans to file for ixekizumab in the first half of 2015.
Though the results on ixekizumab were encouraging, the psoriasis
market is highly crowded with the presence of companies like
Johnson & Johnson (
) among others. Moreover, several companies have late-stage
candidates in development for psoriasis.
Meanwhile, we are encouraged by Lilly's progress with its pipeline
so far. The company has several pipeline related news lined up in
the coming quarters. Successful development of these candidates is
crucial for the company.
Eli Lilly is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked
stocks in the pharmaceutical sector include Allergan (
) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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