(Company corrects ustekinumab dosing in fifth paragraph to two shots over the first 12 weeks of treatment. Making clear this during the first 12 weeks and not one shot, as previously sent)
NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - A top Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) research official said on Wednesday the company’s experimental drug ustekinumab could become the “gold standard” for treating psoriasis, in part because it would require only four injections a year.
“If you look at its benefits, including efficacy, convenience and safety profile, it certainly has potential to be the leader in treatment of psoriasis,” Michael Elliott, senior vice president of immunology research for J&J’s Centocor division, said in an interview.
J&J is hoping the medicine, formerly known as CNTO-1275, will be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by September and win European approval early next year. An FDA advisory panel plans to review the medicine on June 17.
Elliott said it would compete directly with Enbrel, a blockbuster medicine sold jointly by Wyeth WYE.N and Amgen (AMGN.O) that now commands an estimated 75 percent share of the U.S. psoriasis market, as well as with Abbott Laboratories Inc’s (ABT.N) injectable Humira. It would also compete with J&J’s own Remicade, which is given by intravenous infusion.
“Over the first 12 weeks of treatment, you need to have 24 shots of Enbrel, but only two shots of ustekinumab,” Elliott said, predicting that the far greater convenience of his product will resonate with patients and doctors.