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J&J's Psoriasis Drug Shows Superior Efficacy Over Humira


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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report) subsidiary, Janssen Therapeutics announced that data presented from a phase III trial showed superior efficacy of its pipeline candidate guselkumab, over AbbVie Inc.’s (ABBV - Analyst Report) drug Humira in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Data from the VOYAGE 1 trial (n=837) showed that significantly higher proportions of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis treated with guselkumab achieved high rates of skin clearance compared to those receiving placebo. 73% of the patients receiving guselkumab achieved near complete skin clearance versus 2.9% on placebo.

The active comparator arm of the VOYAGE trial evaluated guselkumab versus top-selling medicine Humira. The study demonstrated the statistically significant efficacy of guselkumab compared to Humira after week 16 which was maintained through 48 weeks of treatment. Almost 50% of patients treated with Humira achieved near complete skin clearance versus 73% for guselkumab.

Humira is also approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

The data was presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Austria.

Guselkumab, an anti-IL-23 human monoclonal antibody, is being evaluated in three pivotal phase III studies – VOYAGE 1, VOYAGE 2 and NAVIGATE – for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. A phase II trial evaluating guselkumab in moderate-to-severely active psoriatic arthritis is also ongoing.

J&J carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Stocks worth considering in the large-cap healthcare sector are Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY - Analyst Report) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Analyst Report) .

Eli Lilly has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Eli Lilly has delivered an average four quarter positive earnings surprise of 4.31%. Its earnings estimate for 2016 has risen by 0.3% while that for 2017 has risen more than 2% over the last 90 days.

Abbott, also enjoying a Zacks Rank #2, has delivered positive earnings surprises for the past four straight quarters, with an average surprise of 3.11%.

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