Hot-selling Lilly drug gets OK for second use

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One of Eli Lilly and Co.’s fastest-growing drugs just got another boost to help it grow even faster.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the anti-inflammatory drug Taltz for a second usetreating adults with active psoriatic arthritis, a form of arthritis that affects about 1.6 million Americans.

The drug, also known by its generic name, ixekizumab, was launched in 2016 to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, a skin condition that causes redness and flaking, most often in people aged 15 to 35.

Taltz rang up sales of $386.7 million for Indianapolis-based Lilly in the first nine months of 2017, an increase of 646 percent from the same period a year ago.

The FDA’s action on Dec. 1 opens a new market for Taltz, currently dominated by rival Novartis’ Cosentyx. Both drugs are biologics—genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes.

Taltz works by using an antibody to inhibit a protein called interleukin 17, thus interrupting the chemical inflammation in the body’s immune system.

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