AUTH/3650/5/22 - Eli Lilly v UCB

Bimzelx leavepiece

  • Received
    27 May 2022
  • Case number
  • Applicable Code year
  • Completed
    22 August 2023
  • Breach Clause(s)
  • Sanctions applied
    Undertaking received
  • Additional sanctions
  • Appeal
    Appeal by respondent

Case Summary

This case was in relation to three claims within a Bimzelx (bimekizumab) leavepiece issued by UCB Pharma Ltd which Eli Lilly alleged were unfair, unbalanced and misleading and could not be substantiated. The Panel ruled a breach of the following Clauses of the 2021 Code because it considered that within the context of the leavepiece:

  • the extrapolation of in vitro data to clinical significance implied by the claim ‘Blocking IL-17A and IL-17F results in superior inhibition of inflammatory responses vs blocking IL-17A alone’ was misleading and the implication of clinical superiority of IL-17A and IL-17F blockade over IL-17A alone had not been substantiated
  • the clinical relevance and significance implied by the claim ‘BIMZELX provides more complete inhibition of the IL-17A and IL-17F pathway compared with blocking IL-17A alone’ was misleading; the extrapolation of such in vitro data to the clinical situation should only be made where there was data to show that it was of direct relevance and significance
  • the claim ‘IL-17F levels are approximately 30-fold higher than IL-17A in psoriatic skin’, misled as to the clinical significance of the relative concentrations of IL-17 protein levels as evidenced in the in-vitro data 

Breach of Clause 5.1 (unsuccessfully appealed)

Failing to maintain high standards

Breach of Clause 6.1 (unsuccessfully appealed)

Making a misleading claim                                                      

Breach of Clause 6.2 (unsuccessfully appealed)

Making an unsubstantiated claim


All the Panel’s rulings of breaches of the 2021 Code were upheld on appeal by UCB.

This summary is not intended to be read in isolation.
For full details, please see the full case report below.