The battle of the “heartbreak of psoriasis”, my trial is better than yours! BD
A new Johnson & Johnson drug trial has put Amgen on the defensive. According to the 903-patient study, J&J's experimental drug ustekinumab (Stelara) proved more effective at treating psoriasis than Amgen's blockbuster Enbrel was. "We've never really seen clearance [of psoriasis] along the lines of what we've seen with ustekinumab," one of the trial's lead investigators told the Wall Street Journal. Amgen fired back, saying that the J&J trial only lasted 12 weeks, and so it didn't address the new drug's long-term safety. Enbrel has a "consistent safety profile," an Amgen spokeswoman said, and 16 years of clinical experience. It's true that the FDA is digging into links between the fungal infection histoplasmosis and TNF-alfa meds, but only 17 of the 240 cases occurred among Enbrel patients. Stelara works via a different mode of action than Enbrel does: It's an interleukin inhibitor, rather than a TNF blocker.