Celgene's (CELG) twice-a-day pill Apremilast helped bring about notable and lasting reductions in the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in a late-stage trial of 527 patients who hadn't previously been treated for the disease. Subjects received the drug for a year.
"To be able to have a patient that can take a pill twice a day, I think this is going to be a game changer, not only for me as a physician, but for my patients," said Alvin Wells, the lead investigator in the trial.
The FDA is expected to decide whether or not to approve Apremilast in March. If authorized, the drug would compete with injected biotech medicines that are highly effective but whose side effects are potentially more serious.
Sales of Apremilast are forecast at $475M-1.5B over the next few years, depending on whom you ask.