Shares of Celgene Corp. rose Thursday after the company said its experimental drug apremilast met its main goal in two additional late-stage clinical trials.
Celgene was studying apremilast as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition that affects some psoriasis patients. The studies involved patients who had not helped by other types of anti-inflammation drugs.
In the studies, patients took apremilast alone or in combination with antirheumatic drugs like methotrexate.
Psoriatic arthritis involves joint inflammation and can cause joint destruction as well as pain, stiffness, and swelling. The company had already reported positive results from one late-stage trial. Celgene is also studying apremilast as a treatment for psoriasis and expects to result data from those trials before the end of 2012.
Celgene said it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to approve apremilast as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis in the first quarter of 2013. In the second half of 2013 it will ask European Union regulators to approve the drug as a treatment for both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Shares of Celgene gained $3.44, or 4.8 percent, to $74.39 in late trading.
The company also said Thursday that apremilast met its goal as a treatment for Behcet’s disease in a mid-stage clinical trial. Celgene said the drug was better than a placebo at reducing oral ulcers caused by the disease. Behcet’s disease is a rare condition that causes recurrent oral and genital ulcers, skin lesions, and other problems including inflammation of the eyes.