Johnson & Johnson: Drug clears more psoriasis than rival's

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson reports that its experimental psoriasis medicine worked better in a midstage study than a rival drug that dominates the market for biologic drugs for immune disorders.

The drug, called guselkumab (guhs-ELL'-ku-mab), needs further testing but could join other recent treatments that offer big improvements for patients with the common, painful skin disorder.

Approval of guselkumab also would escalate the battle for tens of billions in annual sales among a half-dozen companies that sell powerful injected drugs, produced inside living cells, to treat immune disorders including rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis, Crohn's disease and colitis.

The midstage study, funded by Johnson & Johnson, found that moderate to high doses of its guselkumab cleared skin patches better than standard doses of rival AbbVie Inc.'s Humira, the world's top-selling medicine.