Amgen (AMGN - Analyst Report) and partner, AstraZeneca (AZN - Analyst Report) , presented positive phase III data on their experimental psoriasis treatment, brodalumab. The candidate was evaluated in a phase III study, AMAGINE-1, in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.
Amgen and AstraZeneca said that the primary as well as secondary endpoints were achieved. Two doses of brodalumab (140 mg and 210 mg) were compared to placebo. While 83.3% of patients in the 210 mg group and 60.3% of patients in the 140 mg group achieved PASI 75 responses, only 2.7% of patients in the placebo arm achieved the same.
As far as PASI 90 response was concerned, 70.3% and 42.5% of patients in the 210 mg and 140 mg arms, respectively, achieved the same compared to 0.9% in the placebo arm. PASI 100 responses were achieved by 41.9% and 23.3% patients in the 210 mg and 140 mg arms, respectively, compared to just 0.5% in the placebo arm.
The PASI score basically measures psoriatic plaque redness, scaling and thickness and the extent of involvement in each region of the body.
The phase III data on brodalumab is encouraging for both Amgen and AstraZeneca. These results bring Amgen and AstraZeneca a step closer to regulatory filing though two more phase III studies are still ongoing - AMAGINE-2 and AMAGINE-3. Results from these two head-to-head studies comparing brodalumab to Stelara (ustekinumab) should be out later this year. Both companies are working on strengthening their product portfolio and brodalumab is one of the key candidates in their pipeline. According to a recent press release issued by AstraZeneca, analyst estimates for brodalumab range between $0.5 billion - $1.5 billion.
However, the psoriasis market is highly crowded with treatments like Stelara and Otezla among others. Moreover, several companies have late-stage candidates in development for the psoriasis market.
Amgen and AstraZeneca are both Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks. Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Gilead Sciences (GILD - Analyst Report) and Allergan (AGN - Analyst Report) . While Gilead is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, Allergan is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.