Sanofi (SNY) and partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) announced positive results from a phase IIb study (n=380) on dupilumab. Dupilumab is being developed for the treatment of adults suffering from moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD.TO), who failed topical medication or for whom topical treatment is not advisable.
The phase IIb study randomized these patients to receive one of five doses of dupilumab (300 mg weekly, 300 mg every other week, 300 mg monthly, 200 mg every other week, 100 mg monthly) or placebo. Results revealed that the candidate (at all dosages groups) successfully met its primary endpoint of a superior improvement in mean percentage change in Eczema Area and Severity Index (:EASI) scores from baseline in comparison to placebo.
Moreover, a higher percentage of patients treated with dupilumab achieved a clearing or near-clearing of skin lesions compared to those under placebo. Also patients under dupilumab treatment arms experienced a 16.5% to 47% mean reduction in itching compared to an increase of 5% in patients under placebo.
Sanofi mentioned in its press release that the results will help them to select the optimal doses of the candidate for the phase III studies, which are expected to start later in the year.
Sanofi also announced that results from four placebo-controlled studies including two phase IIa studies and two phase I studies on dupilumab were published at the New England Journal of Medicine.
Sanofi, a large-cap pharma stock, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and AstraZeneca (AZN). Both these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).