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  • Songsong CaO

JnJ's Protagonist-licensed psoriasis drug falls short in Ph2 trial

Disappointing results for psoriasis patients waiting for a pill that's as effective as second generation biologics like anti-IL-17 and anti-IL-23. While JNJ-77242113 is not as effective as anti-IL-23 biologics, the numbers for 100mg BID compare favorably to Sotyktu, so I would argue there's still a market for it. It's just not the slam dunk that JnJ was hoping for if it could be a Tremfya-in-a-pill - that would make physician and patient choice real easy. Therefore, the sharp drop of Protagonist's stock is an overreaction in my opinion.

Commercial potential aside, I'm really excited to see that Protagonist was able to design a small peptide that clearly disrupts protein-protein interaction between interleukin and its receptor, backed up by data from a well-designed Ph2 trial. It's quite a technical achievement we should really celebrate!

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