J&J throws shade at rival Novartis with psoriasis study

Dec 12, 2018

Johnson & Johnson says that its psoriasis medication, Tremfya, is more effective than another treatment developed by Novartis AG. 

According to J&J, results from a late-stage study showed that after 48 weeks, Tremfya improved symptoms in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis by 90 percent — compared to 70 percent in patients who used Novartis’ Cosentyx. 

Novartis markets Cosentyx as the “No. 1 medication of its kind,” and the drug has dominated the market for psoriasis since it was launched two years ago. But J&J is hoping to change that with Tremfya, as it looks to elbow its way into the $11 billion global market for psoriasis treatments. 

There is currently no cure for psoriasis, which causes patches of inflamed, red lesions. Depending on the severity of the disease, patients can experience minimal patches of psoriasis, or have them all over their body. The market for psoriasis treatments is expected to swell to $21.11 billion by 2022, according to Grand View Research. 

 Tremfya has already been approved to treat plaque psoriasis and is also being tested for Crohn’s disease and psoriatic arthritis. 

In response to J&J’s study results, Novartis countered that Cosentyx has been shown to work quicker than Tremfya. The company said that Cosentyx remains the “mainstay” or psoriasis treatments. 

Read the full Reuters report.

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