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The Associated Press March 28, 2012, 6:41PM ET

Eli Lilly says psoriasis drug meets goal in study

Eli Lilly and Co. said Wednesday its experimental psoriasis drug met its goals in a mid-stage clinical trial.

Lilly said the drug, called ixekizumab, was more effective than a placebo at treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It compared the number of patients who experienced at least a 75-percent reduction in their psoriasis symptoms after 12 weeks of treatment with ixekizumab to patients who had that level of improvement after being injected with the placebo. Patients received one injection every two weeks for the first two months of the study and one injection every four weeks after that.

The company said patients who were treated with doses of 25 milligrams, 75 milligrams, and 150 milligrams had significantly greater improvement. In those groups, the company said 77 percent, 83 percent, and 82 percent of patients, respectively, met the main target in the study. That compares to 8 percent of patients in the placebo group. The patients treated with those doses of ixekizumab were still doing better than the placebo patients 20 weeks after the trial began.

Lilly said patients who were treated with the lowest dose of ixekizumab, 10 milligrams, did not do better than patients in the placebo group.

The most common side effects in the study were inflammation of the nasal passages, upper respiratory infection, reactions at the site of injection, and headache. There were no serious side effects, and the rate of side effects was 63 percent for both the ixekizumab patients and placebo group patients.

Eli Lilly shares picked up 5 cents to $40.31 on Wednesday. The stock lost 9 cents to $40.21 in aftermarket trading.


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