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AZ, Amgen Switch to Psoriasis

Amgen and partner AstraZeneca are preparing to deliver U.S. and European applications for their plaque psoriasis drug brodalumab by midyear. The two companies halted tests for brodalumab as an asthma medication.

Amgen outlined the news in its quarterly report, which also notes a 14 percent drop in R&D spending.

“Based on the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee, Amgen stopped the brodalumab Phase IIb asthma study due to lack of observed efficacy in a planned interim analysis,” a spokesperson tells FierceBiotech. “The decision to stop the study was based on a lack of efficacy and was not based on safety findings. Amgen remains committed to developing brodalumab for patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, for which positive efficacy has been previously shown. We don’t have any other ongoing studies underway in asthma with brodalumab.”

Amgen and AstraZeneca have been compiling a long list of promising psoriasis studies for the IL-17 drug.

Back when AstraZeneca was making its case against a merger with Pfizer, AZ assessed brodalumab’s market potential at between $500 million to $1.5 billion a year. AstraZeneca invested up to $50 million in cash to partner with Amgen on brodalumab and a portfolio of anti-inflammatories back in 2012. But since Amgen took the lead on brodalumab and retained the commercial rights to the U.S. market, it stands to get most of the return.

Source: FierceBiotech