TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson's immune disorder drug Stelara significantly reduced symptoms of the inflammatory bowel condition Crohn's disease with just one infusion in about half the patients tested, according to the company.
The results, released Monday, are the first from multiple late-stage studies -- normally the last stage before seeking regulatory approval for Crohn's, which J&J plans to do later this year. Stelara, on the market since 2009, is approved for treating plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Besides giving Crohn's patients a new option, the additional approval could shore up vulnerable sales in J&J's biggest franchise, drugs for disorders in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissue. That also could give J&J a boost in the fiercely competitive category, which is led by the world's top-selling drug, Humira.