Oct 9 (Reuters) - A high dose of Pfizer Inc's drug,tofacitinib, proved as effective as the widely used treatment,Enbrel, in treating adults with moderate-to-severe psoriasis ina late-stage study , while a lower dose of tofacitinib was lesseffective than Enbrel, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.
The mixed results were seen in a 12-week study, called OPTCompare, which examined the effectiveness of both 5 milligramand 10 milligram twice-daily doses of oral tofacitinib with aplacebo and with the approved starting twice-weekly dose ofinjectable Enbrel.
Pfizer said tofacitinib, already approved to treatrheumatoid arthritis under the brand name Xeljanz, showedsimilar dose-response trends and similar safety trends as thoseseen in an earlier mid-stage trial of tofacitinib for treatmentof psoriasis.
On Wednesday, Pfizer said tofacitinib met its primaryeffectiveness goal in a separate Phase III psoriasis study,called OPT Retreatment, which lasted 56 weeks and compared the 5milligram and 10 milligram doses of tofacitinib to placebo.
That study compared the effectiveness and safety ofwithdrawal and retreatment with both tofacitinib doses, comparedwith placebo, in adult patients with moderate to severepsoriasis.
A greater proportion of patients taking tofacitinibmaintained symptom relief during the withdrawal of treatmentcompared with patients who switched to placebo, Pfizer said in astatement.
Enbrel, a blockbuster product sold by Amgen Inc andPfizer, works by blocking a protein called tumor necrosisfactor, that is linked to inflammation.
Tofacitinib is a so-called JAK inhibitor, and blocks anenzyme called Janus kinase, that is also associated withinflammation.
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