Planning ahead for crowded ulcerative colitis market, Pfizer spells out PhIII data on $6.7B Arena drug

Pfizer has laid out the detailed results behind its boast that etrasimod — the S1P receptor modulator at the center of its $6.7 billion buyout of Arena Pharma — is the winner of the class, potentially leapfrogging an earlier entrant from Bristol Myers Squibb.

Pivotal data from the ELEVATE program in ulcerative colitis — which consists of two Phase III trials, one lasting 52 weeks and the other just 12 weeks — illustrate an “encouraging balance of efficacy and safety,” according to Michael Corbo, chief development officer of inflammation & immunology at Pfizer. The company presented the results as a late breaker at Digestive Disease Week.

But the real challenge will be in the commercial realm, where Pfizer won’t just be taking on Bristol Myers Squibb’s S1P drug Zeposia (2021 sales: $134 million) but also other anti-inflammatory offerings from AbbVie, Eli Lilly and more.

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