Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson reports that its experimental psoriasis medicine worked better in a midstage study than a rival drug that dominates the market for biologic drugs for immune disorders.
The drug, called guselkumab (guhs-ELL'-ku-mab), needs further testing but could join other recent treatments that offer big improvements for patients with the common, painful skin disorder.
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Approval of guselkumab also would escalate the battle for tens of billions in annual sales among a half-dozen companies that sell powerful injected drugs, produced inside living cells, to treat immune disorders including rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis, Crohn's disease and colitis.
The midstage study, funded by Johnson & Johnson, found that moderate to high doses of its guselkumab cleared skin patches better than standard doses of rival AbbVie Inc.'s Humira, the world's top-selling medicine.