AbbVie and BI collaborate on skin jab

AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim have entered a global collaboration to develop and commercialise an injectible biologic therapy for psoriasis.

BI 655066 is an anti-IL-23 monoclonal biologic antibody in Phase III development for the skin condition. The firms are also evaluating the potential of this treatment in Crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis and asthma. 

Recent Phase II head-to-head study results in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis showed that BI 655066 had greater efficacy over the commonly used ustekinumab. After nine months, 69% of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis maintained clear or almost clear skin with BI 655066 in the higher dose group compared to 30% of patients on ustekinumab. Patients also achieved this skin clearance faster and for more than two months longer than those on ustekinumab. Completely clear skin was maintained after nine months in almost three times the percentage of patients on BI 655066 compared with ustekinumab.

Dr Michael E. Severino, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, AbbVie, said: “Our expertise in developing and commercialising the world’s leading biologic, combined with Boehringer Ingelheim’s clinical success to date, will enable us to offer patients a new treatment option with the potential to meaningfully improve the standard of care.”

Dr Michel Pairet, Member of the Board of Managing Directors responsible for R&D non-clinical at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “Our immunology R&D teams have successfully brought forward compounds that have the potential to transform the way immune diseases are treated. I believe the collaboration with AbbVie is the best way to ensure broad access for patients to BI 655066 and BI 655064.”