Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Protagonist Therapeutics’ investigational JNJ-2113 has been shown to maintain skin clearance in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, according to long-term results presented at this year’s American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.

JNJ-2113 is the first targeted oral peptide designed to block the IL-23 receptor, which underpins the inflammatory response in the condition and other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Results from the phase 2b FRONTIER 1 trial were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and showed that a greater proportion of plaque psoriasis patients who received JNJ-2113 achieved the primary endpoint of a Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score of 75 compared to placebo at week 16.

New data from FRONTIER 2, the long-term extension of FRONTIER 1, has shown that the candidate maintained high rates of skin clearance through 52 weeks.

In the five JNJ-2113 treatment groups, response rates were maintained from week 16 to week 52, with the highest PASI 75 response observed in the 100mg twice-daily group.

Key secondary endpoints of PASI 90 and PASI 100, as well as Investigator’s Global Assessment scores, were also maintained through week 52 for all five treatment groups.

Lloyd Miller, vice president, immunodermatology disease area leader, J&J, said: “With promising longer-term results showcasing one year of JNJ-2113 data from the FRONTIER 2 study, our focused innovation in the IL-23 pathway provides an exciting opportunity to unlock a new and potentially differentiated treatment option for patients with psoriasis.”

JNJ-2113 was jointly discovered and is being developed pursuant to a licence and collaboration agreement between Protagonist and J&J.

J&J retains exclusive worldwide rights to develop the candidate in mid-stage clinical trials and beyond, and to commercialise compounds derived from the research conducted in accordance with the agreement against a broad range of indications.