AbbVie's Rinvoq scores Humira-matching trial win in psoriatic arthritis

With megablockbuster Humira in its sunset years as a $20 billion-per-year behemoth, AbbVie is positioning two next-gen launches to pick up the slack. The more recent, JAK med Rinvoq, is off to a strong start––and new clinical data could help the drug backstop Humira's declining sales even further.

Rinvoq topped placebo in reducing the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis at 12 weeks in patients who responded inadequately or couldn't tolerate other non-biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, according to a late-stage data drop out this week.

In AbbVie's Select-PsA 1 trial, both the 15- and 30-milligram doses of Rinvoq significantly improved patients' symptoms over placebo. For the lower dose, 71% of patients hit the trial's primary endpoint compared with just 31% for patients treated with placebo. Patients on the higher dose saw even more impressive results, with 79% meeting the primary endpoint. 

AbbVie, which reports its financials Friday morning, said it intended to share the findings with regulators in anticipation of a new filing. 

Even better: Rinvoq's lower dose matched Humira's psoriatic arthritis data at the 12-week mark, and the newer drug actually beat out its predecessor's results at the higher dosage.

In a secondary endpoint, Rinvoq edged out placebo in terms of clearing skin with 63% and 62% of patients achieving 75% skin clearance at 16 weeks with the low and high dose, respectively, compared with 21% for placebo. 

RELATED: AbbVie's Rinvoq continues march with NICE nod in rheumatoid arthritis