GlaxoSmithKline Hits Pause on Early Stage Experimental Inflammatory Drug

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GlaxoSmithKline’s (NYSE:GSK) partnership with Galapagos NV has come to a screeching halt after an experimental drug, GSK2586184, which is a proposed treatment for lupus, didn’t deliver in Phase II trials. According to a FierceBiotech report, the drug failed to demonstrate a positive effect. As a result of the data, another exploratory Phase I/II trial for the same drug, this time to treat ulcerative colitis, was also put on hold.

The remaining study, which explores the drug as a treatment for psoriasis, is the only one of the three studies that was not put on hiatus. The top-line efficacy and safety results from that study are expected out sometime in the first half of 2014. Glaxo reports that the psoriasis study was designed to recruit “64 patients, with treatment up to 12 weeks.”

The experimental drug, currently known as GSK2586184, is a JAK1 inhibitor that Glaxo has trumpeted as an innovative new approach to treating inflammatory diseases. JAK inhibitors are drugs that work by inhibiting the activity of one or several of the Janus kinase enzymes; a JAK1 inhibitor indicates that the drug acts on the JAK1 enzyme in particular.

Janus kinase inhibitors have a therapeutic application as a treatment for cancers and inflammatory diseases, according to a company press release.

A similar medicine to Glaxo’s experimental GSK2586184 is currently being developed as part of a partnership between Incyte and Eli Lilly & Co. Their product is a late-stage JAK1/2 inhibitor that is being evaluated as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases, FierceBiotech reports.

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