Eli Lilly proved its victory for acquired FDA approval for blockbuster ixekizumab. There is a hope that will compete against a new wave of rival therapies for psoriasis. This drug would be sold as Taltz.
By 2020, analysts expect IL-17A anti-inflammatory drug to carve out a market worth more than a billion dollars a year. This will make Lilly's top drug prospects and a crucial part of its case that the pharma giant will continue to bounce back from a low point in 2014. Few weeks ago, the European Medicines Agency signaled its approval for the therapy, giving way to another big market later this year.
Lilly will escort in the footsteps of Cosentyx, the first IL-17A drug to hit the market after Novartis obtained a pioneering approval. Novartis added two new approvals for their drug; for psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis in January pushing for up to $5 billion in probable peak sales.
Lilly repeatedly finds itself facing off against many heavyweight challengers when it wins an approval, and Taltz is no unalike on that score. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) execs are optimistic about the blockbuster potential for their late-stage program for the IL-23 drug guselkumab. Merck ($MRK) is also competing hard with MK-3222. AstraZeneca ($AZN) had been a competitor as well, but patients taking brodalumab complained of suicidal thinking, which prompted Amgen ($AMGN) to withdraw its partnership. AstraZeneca then traded the drug to Valeant ($VRX), a bottom-feeding pharma company that is now struggling to sustain an existential crisis.
Inflammation is triggered when ixekizumab binds to the protein interleukin (IL)-17A. Lilly aimed for a top role in the market by inculcating head-to-head late-stage studies against market leaders, plus Enbrel. A Lilly spokesperson told Fierce Biotech that organization never reveals its new drug prices until actual market launch. About 7.5 million Americans with roughly one in 5 suffering from moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis which is a chronic, immune disease.
Alex Azar, president, Lilly USA said that "Many people living with plaque psoriasis are looking for another treatment option for this disease. With this FDA approval, we are proud to provide patients and dermatologists with a new choice that may provide significant improvement of psoriasis plaques." As per Dr. Julie Beitz, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “Today’s approval provides patients suffering from plaque psoriasis with another important treatment option to help relieve the skin irritation and discomfort from the condition."