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Incyte & Eli Lilly Post Positive Phase III Data on Baricitinib

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Incyte CorporationINCY and its partner Eli Lilly and Company LLY announced encouraging top-line data from the third phase III study - RA-BEGIN - evaluating the safety and efficacy of baricitinib in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Incyte shares were up 4.7% on the news.

In the RA-BEGIN study, baricitinib was found to be non-inferior to methotrexate based on the ACR20 response rate after 24 weeks of treatment, thereby meeting the primary objective. Methotrexate is a widely used drug for RA. In fact, based on ACR20 response, baricitinib was found to be superior to methotrexate.

Meanwhile, the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events and serious adverse events were similar in both the baricitinib and methotrexate arms.

We note that baricitinib has consistently fared well in all phase III studies reported so far. The companies had reported positive data from the first phase III study (RA-BEACON) on baricitinib in Dec 2014 and the second phase III study (RA-BUILD) in Feb 2015.

The companies are conducting a fourth phase III study, RA-BEAM, on baricitinib. Data from this study is expected to be released later this year.

As per WHO Global Burden of Disease Report, over 23 million people suffer from RA worldwide. Currently available treatments include AbbVie's ABBV Humira.

Apart from RA, Incyte and Eli Lilly are also evaluating baricitinib for psoriasis (phase II) and diabetic nephropathy (phase II).

Incyte is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, while Eli Lilly carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other well-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Bayer BAYRY and AbbVie, both carrying the same Zacks Rank as Eli Lilly.

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BAYER A G -ADR (BAYRY): Free Stock Analysis Report

LILLY ELI & CO (LLY): Free Stock Analysis Report

INCYTE CORP (INCY): Free Stock Analysis Report

ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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