J&J to challenge Novartis in axSpA treatment space

While Cosentyx and Stelara will partially address the unmet need for therapies with novel MoAs, opportunities will remain for drug developers in this previously overlooked market


(Photo Courtesy: www.community.fitera.com)

Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) psoriasis drug, Stelara, has progressed into Phase III development for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and, following its anticipated approval, is forecast to achieve impressive axSpA sales of $244.7 million in 2024, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company's latest report states that Stelara, an IL12/IL23 inhibitor, has demonstrated a strong safety profile in other indications, and is expected to launch in the US and five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK) for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in H2 2020 and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in H1 2021.

According to Dr Heather Leach, GlobalData's senior analyst covering immunology, the anticipated launches of Novartis' Cosentyx, an IL17 inhibitor, and J&J's Stelara will add new mechanisms of action (MoAs) to the existing axSpA treatment space.

The drugs will also command premium pricing, above that of the most frequently used anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) biologics, helping to boost the global market value to US $2.9 billion by 2024.

Dr Leach says: "Stelara will compete most heavily with Novartis' Cosentyx in treating patients who have failed at least one anti-TNF biologic or are intolerant to the therapy."


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