Plaque psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition, with a buildup of dead cells as scales giving the affected area of skin a raised and red patchy look. About 2% of population in the US suffers from this disease. A new drug, Taltz (Ixekizumab), has been approved by FDA in March 2016 for its treatment.

Taltz (ixekizumab), a selective humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody, was developed by Eli Lily and Company and inhibits the interaction of interleukin 17A (IL-17A) cytokine and IL-17 receptor by binding to 17A (IL-17A) cytokine. This inhibitory effect of Taltz neutralizes IL-17, IL-14, IL-21, thus blocking beta-defensins, keratinocyte production of cytokines and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs).

Some of the drugs available in the market include Humira, Cosentyx, Enbrel, Otezla, Taclonex, Stelara, and Dovonex. Cosentyx, a Novartis product, was approved in Europe and US in 2015. This was the first fully human interleukin 17A inhibitor launched in market, but since its launch it hasn’t been able to make a mark on the plaque psoriasis market. Brodalumab, a potential competitor after its expected launch in 2016, couldn’t make it to the market because of the side effects, which included depression and suicidal thoughts.

In the year 2015, Cosentyx, Stelara, Enbrel and Humira had shown sales of USD 261 million, USD 742 million, USD 5.364 billion, and USD 14.012 billion respectively. As per the current trends, Enbrel, Cosentyx and Humira are good competitors of Taltz for this indication. Enbrel was the most prescribed drug for this indication but due to Taltz’s good Phase III trial results, the latter might overtake sales in the market. Since there is no effective therapy that treats psoriasis properly, this poses to be the most important unmet need.

Insight by:
Tejaswini Reddy
Associate Analyst
DelveInsight Business Research