CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Lilly psoriasis drug succeeds in late-stage studies

Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:29am EDT

(Corrects paragraphs 1 and 2 to "Amgen Inc's" from "generic")

Aug 21 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said its experimental psoriasis drug was found to be more effective in clearing skin than Amgen Inc's treatment and a placebo in late-stage studies.

These studies evaluated the drug, ixekizumab, against Amgen's etanercept and a placebo, in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Patients treated with ixekizumab had significantly greater levels of skin clearance compared with placebo and to etanercept at the 12-week endpoint, Lilly said.

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoinflammatory disease that occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells.

The most common inflammatory disease in the United States - it can occur on any part of the body - it is associated with diabetes and heart disease.

The most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. About 17 percent of the estimated 125 million psoriasis patients worldwide have moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Lilly said on Thursday it plans to submit ixekizumab to regulatory authorities in the first half of 2015.

The drug is also undergoing development for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

The Indianapolis, Indiana-based drugmaker's stock closed at $62.01 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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