Nipocalimab shows promise in RA subgroups in phase 2a IRIS-RA study

Johnson & Johnson’s nipocalimab, which works by targeting the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), has the potential to treat an array of autoimmune conditions. But the antibody recently hit a snag in the first-ever clinical study of an FcRn inhibitor in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), missing its primary endpoint. The development has sparked debate within the rheumatology community. “Now, there are some highly respected physicians who’ve said, ‘This is a failed trial,’” said Dr. Peter Taylor, the Norman Collisson Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford. “I think that’s an incorrect interpretation.”

Johnson & Johnson is also pursuing a host of other autoimmune indications for nipocalimab. The FDA has granted it Fast Track designation for hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) and orphan drug status for HDFN while EMA granted it orphan medicinal product designation for HDFN.

Breaking down the data from IRIS-RA

Johnson …

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Sandoz’s Hyrimoz to challenge AbbVie’s Humira dominance

A robotic arm transfers Humira pens from the conveyor to two-pack cartons. [Image from AbbVie]

The generic and biosimilar company Sandoz, a Novartis (NYSE:SIX) subsidiary, has received FDA approval for its Humira biosimilar Hyrimoz (adalimumab-adaz) injection. AbbVie’s (NYSE:ABBV) megablockbuster Humira is a biologic medication with indications for an array of autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. Sandoz’s biosimilar will likely be priced significantly lower than Humira’s. This fact could dramatically impact the marketplace for AbbVie’s version of the drug, as it is priced lower and could lead to a decrease in market share for Humira.

The FDA approved Sandoz’s Hyrimoz, a biosimilar of AbbVie’s Humira, to treat seven conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis,…

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FDA approves Olumiant for treating some hospitalized COVID-19 patients

[Olumiant image courtesy of Lilly]

The JAK inhibitor Olumiant (baricitinib) from Incyte (Nasdaq:INCY) and Lilly (NYSE: LLY) has scored FDA approval to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients who need help breathing.

In particular, the new indication covers adult patients needing supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Olumiant first won FDA approval in 2018 for treating moderately-to-severely active rheumatoid arthritis.

Lilly began testing the drug in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in June 2020. It won emergency use authorization (EUA) for such patients in November of that same year when used with remdesivir.

FDA broadened the EUA in July 2021 to allow its use with or without remdesivir.

Olumiant is the first immunomodulatory therapy to score FDA approval for a COVID-19 indication.

The drug continues to be avail…

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Tremfya shows promise in reducing fatigue in PsA patients

Janssen’s Tremfya (guselkumab) was associated with reduced fatigue in two Phase 3 clinical trials involving 1,120 patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), according to an article published in Arthritis Research & Therapy. The study found that PsA patients who received 100 mg of guselkumab every four weeks or every eight weeks had clinically meaningful and sustained improvements in fatigue through one year.

The results offer hope for PsA patients with disease-mediated fatigue — a symptom that doctors have traditionally underappreciated.

To arrive at their conclusion about guselkumab, the investigators used a mediation analysis, a statistical method that attempts to identify the relationship between variables. In this case, the analysis investigated the relationship between fatigue and a variety of PsA symptoms. Such measures included American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) to measure joint improvement, the presence of C-reactive protein to study in…

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