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J&J's Tremfya Beats Novartis' Cosentyx in Head-to-Head Study

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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) announced results from a head-to-head phase III ECLIPSE study, which compared its psoriasis drug, Tremfya (guselkumab), with Novartis' (NVS - Free Report) psoriasis drug, Cosentyx (secukinumab). The study evaluated the efficacy of the first-in-class IL-23 inhibitor, Tremfya, in comparison to IL-17 inhibitor Cosentyx.

The assessment showed that Tremfya was superior to Cosentyx for treating adult patients afflicted with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis at week 48 of treatment, indicative of the primary endpoint.

Findings from the study showed that 84.5% of patients, administered with Tremfya, achieved at least 90% improvement in psoriasis skin surface area (PASI 90) at week 48 compared with 70% patients, who received Cosentyx.

J&J will present the study outcome at the Inflammatory Skin Disease Summit in Vienna, scheduled to be held between Dec 12 and Dec 15.

Shares of J&J have gained 5.3% so far this year, underperforming the industry’s increase of 7.5%.


We would like to remind investors that Tremfya was first approved in the United States in July 2017 and subsequently, received the EU approval in November last year for plaque psoriasis.

Notably, Tremfya is also being evaluated for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease in several ongoing phase III studies. ECLIPSE is the fourth phase III program on Tremfya, conducted by J&J.

Tremfya saw strong demand trends with more than 25,000 patients now on therapy and the drug capturing 5.8% share of the psoriasis market in the United States. The drug recorded sales of $171 million in third-quarter 2018 compared with $126 million in the second.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

J&J currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the large cap pharma sector include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Free Report) and Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK - Free Report) . While Bristol-Myers sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Merck carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Bristol-Myers’ earnings estimates have been revised 6.3% upward for 2018 and 3.6% for 2019 over the past 60 days.

Merck’s earnings estimates have moved 1.4% north for 2018 and 1.1% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 38.6% year to date.

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