June 26, 2020 / 1:44 PM / 7 days ago

J&J scraps late-stage study testing Stelara for lupus

The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company's listing at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit said on Friday it would discontinue a late-stage study testing its psoriatic arthritis drug Stelara as a treatment for lupus as it was not found to be effective against the auto-immune disease.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or lupus, causes inflammation in connective tissues, such as cartilage and the lining of blood vessels.

A second late-stage study to be conducted in China was planned but will not start given this decision, the company said.

Stelara, which blocks two inflammation-causing proteins IL-12 and IL-23, is one of J&J’s largest revenue generators, bringing in sales of about $1.82 billion in first quarter this year.

The drug is approved in the United States to treat the skin condition scaly plaque psoriasis, a type of arthritis associated with psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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