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Biocon Says Medicine Eased Psoriasis in Late-Stage Trial

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Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Biocon Ltd. said its experimental drug itolizumab met the main goal of a late-stage clinical trial, reducing the severity of psoriasis.

An interim analysis of the 200-person study showed that patients taking the drug had a response rate of 46 percent after 28 weeks, the Bangalore, India-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. The drug was safe and well-tolerated, with an infection rate of about 10 percent, the drugmaker said.

Biocon plans to speed up development of the drug for other autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, it said. Itolizumab is a so-called monoclonal antibody, which are made in a lab to mimic natural substances that stimulate the human immune system to attack disease-causing cells. Psoriasis is a chronic skin ailment.

“This could possibly become the first novel biologic developed and approved from India and is an important milestone for Biocon,” Chairman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in the statement. “We look forward to taking this molecule to the market across multiple indications with a global partner.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Serafino in Paris at pserafino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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