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Novartis's new treatment for hives outperforms Xolair in trials

Reuters  |  ZURICH 

(Reuters) - said on Tuesday it was taking its experimental to late-stage trials after the drug showed signs of outperforming existing product in treating severe urticaria, also known as

is sold by both and Roche, but has lost patent protection in and the United States, leaving it exposed to rivals who are developing copies of the biological drug. None are yet on the market.

said it now plans two Phase III studies for with more than 2,000 patients who suffer from (CSU), an that causes persistent itchy reddish welts on the skin.

"Despite existing treatment options, too many people continue to struggle with the debilitating and potentially painful symptoms of CSU," Marcus Maurer, a and at the Allergie-Centrum-Charite in Berlin, Germany, said in a statement from Novartis.

is also developing a new drug, fenebrutinib, to fight CSU and has a Phase II trial, with an expected filing date of after 2021, according to its website.

Both companies are looking to develop a more advanced drug than as India's has a biosimilar copy in the works.

Xolair brought in 1.74 billion Swiss francs ($1.75 billion) for last year and $920 million for Novartis.

($1 = 0.9960 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Miller; editing by Thomas Seythal and Susan Fenton)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 14:22 IST