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FDA Approves Tremfya

Janssen Announces FDA Approval of Tremfya (guselkumab) for the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

Horsham, PA, July 13, 2017 ― Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tremfya (guselkumab) for the treatment of adults living with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. Tremfya is the first and only approved biologic therapy that selectively blocks only IL-23, a cytokine that plays a key role in plaque psoriasis. Approval comes after an expedited regulatory review following application of an FDA Priority Review Voucher. Tremfya is administered as a 100 mg subcutaneous injection every eight weeks, following two starter doses at weeks 0 and 4. In clinical studies, patients receiving Tremfya experienced significant improvement in skin clearance and greater improvement in symptoms of plaque psoriasis including itch, pain, stinging, burning and skin tightness when compared with placebo at week 16. Superior results in skin clearance (PASI 90) were demonstrated with Tremfya compared with Humira (adalimumab) at weeks 16, 24 and 48.

“Tremfya represents a significant milestone in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis as evidenced by the proven skin clearance demonstrated in the majority of study patients receiving this IL-23–specific therapy at week 16 and up to week 48,” said Andrew Blauvelt, M.D., M.B.A., President of Oregon Medical Research Center, and study investigator. “We continue to make progress in understanding the science of psoriasis and the important role IL-23 plays in the pathogenesis of this disease, which is another reason why today’s approval of Tremfya is exciting, both as a researcher and a practicing dermatologist.”

“Living with plaque psoriasis is challenging, especially the constant pain, itching and burning,” said Patti Janick, a guselkumab clinical trial participant. “I am encouraged by the results I’ve experienced with Tremfya and the possibility it offers others living with plaque psoriasis to find similar relief and clearer skin.”

Tremfya received FDA approval based on results from a clinical development program that included more than 2,000 patients in the Phase 3 VOYAGE 1, VOYAGE 2 and NAVIGATE studies, which have been published in peer-reviewed journals and were presented at the 25th European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology Congress and the 2017 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.

  • Results from VOYAGE 1 and VOYAGE 2 demonstrated significant efficacy in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis treated with Tremfya.
  • In clinical studies, at 16 weeks, at least seven out of ten Tremfya-treated patients achieved at least 90 percent clearer skin, and more than 80 percent demonstrated cleared or almost cleared skin.
  • Improvements were also demonstrated with Tremfya in psoriasis involving the scalp and in symptoms of plaque psoriasis including itch, pain, stinging, burning and skin tightness at week 16.
  • Treatment with Tremfya resulted in clearer skin that lasted, as nearly nine out of ten Tremfya-treated patients who achieved PASI 90 at week 28 maintained that response at week 48.
  • Versus Humira, at week 24, more than seven out of ten patients treated with Tremfya reported at least 90 percent clearer skin compared with more than four out of ten patients treated with Humira.
  • NAVIGATE findings demonstrated the effectiveness of Tremfya in patients who had an inadequate response to treatment with STELARA® (ustekinumab). At week 28, 31 percent of Tremfya-treated patients were considered cleared or almost cleared versus 14 percent of STELARA®-treated patients 12 weeks after randomization to continue STELARA® or transition to Tremfya.

“Addressing the need for additional safe and effective plaque psoriasis therapies has been a critical area of focus at Janssen for more than 15 years,” said Andrew Greenspan, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Janssen. “Considering this, we applied a priority review voucher to the application for Tremfya to bring this novel treatment to patients sooner.”

“The approval of new and effective treatment options is always welcome news for the plaque psoriasis patient community, as not all patients respond similarly to currently available treatments,” said Michael Siegel, Ph.D., Vice President of Research Programs for the National Psoriasis Foundation. “For the more than one million Americans living with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, the approval of TREMFYA™ is a meaningful addition and offers physicians and patients an effective new, first-in-class therapy that selectively inhibits IL-23.”

Janssen will work closely with payers, providers and pharmacy benefit managers to ensure Tremfya is broadly accessible and affordable for patients and that the cost for payers is competitive with currently available biologic therapies for psoriasis. Janssen offers a number of patient support programs, including a co-pay card for patients with commercial insurance that reduces their out-of-pocket cost for Tremfya to no more than $5 per dose.

Efficacy Evaluation

The Tremfya versus placebo analysis is based on the results of an analysis of 101 global sites from VOYAGE 1 and 115 global sites from VOYAGE 2 (including North American sites [i.e., U.S. and Canada]).

*The Tremfya versus Humira analysis is based on the results of an analysis of 38 North American sites (U.S.=27, Canada=11) from VOYAGE 1 and 41 North American sites (U.S.=31, Canada=10) from VOYAGE 2 that utilized U.S.-licensed Humira.

About Tremfya (guselkumab)

Tremfya is a human monoclonal antibody developed by Janssen that selectively blocks the protein interleukin (IL)-23 and is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light). A Phase 3 study evaluating Tremfya in the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis is ongoing, and a Phase 3 program evaluating the efficacy of Tremfya compared with Cosentyx (secukinumab) in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis is underway.

Applications seeking approval in the European Union, Japan and other countries are currently under review.

Tremfya™ is a trademark of Janssen Biotech, Inc.


What is the most important information I should know about Tremfya?

Tremfya may cause serious side effects, including infections. Tremfya is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with Tremfya and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with Tremfya if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with Tremfya.

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection:<

  • fever, sweats, or chills
  • muscle aches
  • weight loss
  • cough
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • shortness of breath
  • blood in your phlegm (mucus)
  • burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal

Before using Tremfya, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section What is the most important information I should know about Tremfya?”
  • have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back.
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with Tremfya.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Tremfya can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Tremfya passes into your breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of Tremfya?

Tremfya may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about Tremfya?”

The most common side effects of Tremfya include: upper respiratory infections, headache, injection site reactions, joint pain (arthralgia), diarrhea, stomach flu (gastroenteritis), fungal skin infections, and herpes simplex infections.

These are not all the possible side effects of Tremfya. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Use Tremfya exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.

Please read the full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide for Tremfya, and discuss any questions that you have with your doctor.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory disorder that results in the overproduction of skin cells, characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions, or plaques, which can cause physical pain.1 It is estimated that more than 7.5 million Americans live with the disease.2 Approximately 80 percent of those affected with psoriasis have mild to moderate disease, while 20 percent have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.2

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter at or

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding potential benefits and continued development of TREMFYA™ (guselkumab). The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Biotech, Inc. and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success for new products or new indications; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2017, including under “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” its most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including in the section captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither Janssen Biotech, Inc. nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.


  1. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis. Accessed June 20, 2017.
  2. American Academy of Dermatology. Psoriasis. Accessed June 20, 2017.

Source: Janssen Biotech, Inc.

Posted: July 2017

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