New psoriasis drug clears skin in one-third of patients

| Melissa Leavitt

Approximately one-third of patients on a new psoriasis drug had clear skin after three months on the medication, according to recently released clinical trial results. The drug, ixekizumab, targets interleukin 17A (IL-17A), which is a cytokine, or protein, involved in inflammation. Clinical trial results for two other drugs targeting IL-17, brodalumab and secukinumab were released earlier this year.

Eli Lilly, ixekizumab's manufacturer, issued a press release on the results for ixekizumab on Friday.

Three separate clinical trials involving 3,866 patients tested the safety and effectiveness of the drug. Trials were held in 21 countries, including sites in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

In one trial, called UNCOVER, patients were assigned to take either ixekizumab or a placebo. The other two trials, UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3, compared ixekizumab with Enbrel (etanercept). Enbrel (etanercept) is a biologic medication that targets another cytokine called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).

According to Eli Lilly's statement, 78-90 percent of the patients taking ixekizumab experienced at least a 75 percent improvement in their psoriasis after twelve weeks, as measured by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 75). Of these patients, 31-41 percent achieved 100 percent improvement (PASI 100) after twelve weeks, which is clear skin.

In comparison, only 5-7 percent of patients taking Enbrel achieved PASI 100, the statement reports.UNCOVER, the study testing ixekizumab against a placebo only, kept patients on the drug for 60 weeks. Throughout the entire study period, patients maintained "high levels of response," according to the press release.

The most common side effects for ixekizumab were colds and infections around the site of the injection, and in the trials comparing ixekizumab with Enbrel, the frequency and severity of side effects were similar for the two drugs, according to the release.

Next year, Eli Lilly plans to submit ixekizumab to regulatory authorities.


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

Recent Advance Posts

With help from his old bike and a biologic, Barry Bonner overcomes PsA and...
Rheumatologists and dermatologists join forces to defeat a common enemy.
Psoriasis updates from the 76th annual meeting of the American Academy of...
Culinary enthusiasts offer grade-A tips for taking the aches and pains out of...
For some psoriasis patients, getting the right diagnosis isn’t always so black...
NPF launches a clearinghouse for clinical trial info, including how to find one...
bullhorn
Clinical trial data show drug may help achieve clear skin.
Cyndi Lauper describes her treatment journey from diagnosis to clear skin.
Researchers examine results from patient-reported data and offer takeaways for...