GlaxoSmithKline has released positive late-stage clinical trial results for its experimental drug Sirukumab, moving it a step closer to entering a crowded but lucrative multibillion-dollar rheumatoid arthritis market, writes John George for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
GlaxoSmithKline is developing the drug in collaboration with Janssen Biologics, a division of Johnson & Johnson. The collaborating companies announced positive results from previous separate phase-III clinical trials of Sirukumab at the end of last year.
GlaxoSmithKline, which has offices in King of Prussia and Collegeville, said it plans to seek regulatory approvals for Sirukumab during the third quarter of this year.
“Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis continue to suffer with this debilitating and painful disease despite the availability of several treatment options,” said Paul-Peter Tak, GlaskoSmithKline’s Chief Immunology Officer and Senior Vice President. “This study showed that Sirukumab inhibited the progression of joint damage and improved the signs and symptoms of disease, disability, and quality of life measures.”
If approved, Sirukumab would compete with well-established rheumatoid arthritis therapies such as Enbrel, Humari, and Remicade. These drugs were among the top selling prescription drugs for last year, with Humari achieving worldwide sales of just under $15 billion.
GlaxoSmithKline, however, sees an opening for its rheumatoid arthritis treatment as not all of the 23.5 million people worldwide who suffer from the chronic and inflammatory condition respond to the treatments currently available.
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