Higher dose of Gilead-Galapagos drug meets ulcerative colitis study goals

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FILE PHOTO: Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen after they announced a Phase 3 Trial of the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir in patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc and partner Galapagos NV said on Wednesday a higher dose of their experimental drug filgotinib showed greater effectiveness than placebo in a mid-stage study testing it in ulcerative colitis patients.

The study tested two doses of the drug – 100 mg and 200 mg – in 1,348 adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC), they said.

UC is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the colon and often involves periods of remission, or absence of disease symptoms, interspersed with periods of active disease.

Filgotinib 200 mg met the main goals in the study, inducing clinical remission at week 10 and maintaining clinical remission at week 58 in a significantly higher proportion of patients compared with placebo, the companies said.

However, the 100 mg dose did not achieve statistically significant clinical remission at week 10, the companies said.

Gilead’s shares were about 1% lower at $73.2 in extended trading, while the U.S.-listed shares of Galapagos fell nearly 11% to $198.

Gilead last year invested $5.1 billion to expand its partnership with Belgo-Dutch biotech Galapagos, and the two companies are targeting inflammatory conditions — one of the most lucrative areas in the drugs industry.

Filgotinib is being tested for other inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. (reut.rs/2Tmy9fO)

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Aditya Soni

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