High level of skin clearance at weeks 100 and 204 were seen in patients with psoriasis taking guselkumab (Tremfya), according to a phase 3 study by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Psoriasis is often painful for patients, which can affect their quality of life. This study, which is an open lab extension of VOYAGE2, found that 80% patients taking guselkumab achieved at least a 90% improvement in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 90) score.

Guselkumab is a monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to the p19 subunit of IL-23 and inhibits its interaction with the IL-23.  

Patients in the study were treated with 100 mg of guselkumab every 8 weeks. At the 4-year mark, 82% of patients achieved a score of clear or minimal disease, whereas 51% achieved complete clearance of their psoriasis plaques, according to the press release.

“The 4-year patient-reported outcomes in the VOYAGE programme are particularly noteworthy because they show that the efficacy data for guselkumab translates into nearly 70 percent of patients reporting that their skin disease had no negative impact on their health-related quality of life and approximately 40 percent of patients reporting that they were symptom-free…These findings are indicative of the consistent and durable skin clearance possible for adults living with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,” said Lloyd Miller, MD, PhD, vice president, Immunodermatology Disease Area Leader, Janssen Research & Development, in the press release.

The data from VOYAGE2 are consistent and complements the findings from VOYAGE1 study, according to the release. The VOYAGE1 study examined patient-reported outcomes of those treated with guselkumab and compared them with those treated with adalimumab.

In that study, guselkumab vastly outperformed adalimumab, according to the release. At week 48, approximately 42% of patients who received guselkumab were symptom-free. This is nearly double the 23% of patients administered adalimumab who reported no symptoms at the 48-week mark, according to the press release. 

The safety profile of both drugs during the trials were consistent with current prescribing information. According to the press release, common adverse effects of guselkumab include upper raspatory infections, gastroenteritis, and herpes simplex infections. No new safety signals were identified over the course of the study.

New Phase 3 Data for TREMFYA® (guselkumab), a First-in-Class IL-23 p19 Subunit Inhibitor, Show Consistent, High Levels of Skin Clearance Through Four Years in Adult Patients with Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis (News Release) Beerse, Belgium; June 15, 2020. Janssen; accessed June 18, 2020