AbbVie's Skyrizi stands to gain as docs move away from older psoriasis meds—Amgen's Otezla included

Skyrizi
AbbVie's Skyrizi hit $330 million in sales in the second quarter, well on its way to the billion-dollar mark. (AbbVIe)

In an increasingly crowded psoriasis market, a raft of next-gen biologics is looking to topple an older suite of drugs for sales supremacy. Dermatologists seem to be on board with that shift, a good thing for AbbVie's rising star Skyrizi—but for Amgen, which paid a premium for Celgene's Otezla last year, that's bad news.

Dermatologists are favoring moving their psoriasis patients off older meds such as Otezla in favor of newer biologics, most notably AbbVie's recent launch Skyrizi, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote in a note to clients, citing a MedaCorp survey.

Skyrizi, an IL-23 inhibitor, is one of a growing class of immunology biologics that dermatologists predict will capture an outsized share of severe psoriasis patients in the coming years, including earlier in treatment, Porges wrote.

In about three years, dermatologists predict the IL-23 class will lock up around 18% of the total biologic market in moderate patients and 29% in severe patients. For Skyrizi, which dermatologists think will eventually grab around 60% of all IL-23 users, that could equal a big haul.

But dermatologists also favor Skyrizi's in-class competitors, including Johnson & Johnson's Tremfya. The surveyed physicians generally favored IL-23s over the older IL-17 class, which includes bestselling psoriasis drug Cosentyx from Novartis.

Overall, dermatologists predicted the IL-23s would nab between 5% and 8% more biologic market share than the IL-17s in about three years, Porges wrote.

RELATED: Amgen ramps up Otezla expansion effort with positive data in mild psoriasis

Of course, those figures don't look great for non-biologics, anti-TNF drugs such as AbbVie's Humira, or Amgen's oral Otezla, a former Celgene blockbuster picked up as part of a $11.2 billion sale late last year with an additional $2.2 billion in tax benefits.

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