Challenging AbbVie and Lilly in psoriatic arthritis, J&J touts 2-year data for Tremfya

When Johnson & Johnson scored approval for Tremfya in psoriatic arthritis last year, the company set out in crowded field with entrenched competition. But now the drugmaker has new long-term data to bolster its drug’s case.

In data from an extended phase 3 trial, more than half of adults on Tremfya achieved complete skin clearance at two years, J&J said. More than 70% of patients achieved 20% improvement or better in joint symptoms. Previously, the drug showed benefits through 24 weeks—leading to an FDA approval last year—and through 52 weeks. 

Specifically, among patients who had experienced clinically meaningful skin involvement at baseline, 59% of patients who received Tremfya every four weeks—and 53% of those who received the drug every eight weeks—experienced complete skin clearance, J&J said.

About 90% of patients randomized to receive Tremfya in the study continued their treatment through 100 weeks, J&J said. Aside from the skin clearance and joint symptom effects, the two-year data confirmed earlier findings demonstrating the med’s benefits to physical function and other quality-of-life factors, J&J said. 

The results “further bolster our confidence in the ability of Tremfya to significantly improve the diverse manifestations of PsA over time,” Janssen R&D rheumatology disease area leader Alyssa Johnson said in a statement.

RELATED: J&J's Tremfya grabs psoriatic arthritis nod, setting up a battle with Cosentyx, Taltz and more 

Investigators are presenting the data at the Innovations in Dermatology virtual spring meeting. 

The results give J&J a stepped-up talking point in a competitive field. When Tremfya won its FDA approval in psoriatic arthritis last year, the company set out to launch its drug against meds from AbbVie, Novartis and Eli Lilly. Plus, Lilly’s Taltz boasts head-to-head data over the J&J drug. 

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson's Tremfya backs psoriatic arthritis play with newest data 

J&J’s Tremfya, first approved in late 2017 to treat plaque psoriasis, generated $1.35 billion last year.