New Psoriasis Drug Shows Complete Symptom Clearance

Physical aspects and quality of life issues improve with treatment.

Physical aspects and quality of life issues improve with treatment.

A new treatment for psoriasis showed incredible potential during a recent clinical trial in the UK.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester, the drug ixekizumab resulted in nearly half of patients who received the medication achieving a complete clearance of psoriatic plaques after 12 weeks of treatment. The trial enrolled 2500 psoriasis patients, half of which received ixekizumab once for either 2 or 4 weeks. The other half of the patients received placebo or the commonly used psoriasis drug etanercept.

The ixekizumab cohort showed rapid and extensive improvements, with approximately 40% of patients experiencing a clearance of psoriatic plaques, while more than 90% showed some improvement in symptoms. Nearly half of these patients showed improvement as soon as week 4 of the trial, with up to 71% showing a high level of improvement by week 12 on the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index.

"The visible effects of psoriasis can have a major and life-ruining impact on people's confidence and self-esteem,” said lead researcher Chris Griffiths, foundation professor of dermatology in the university faculty of Medical and Human Sciences and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. "What we saw in this trial was not just the physical aspects of the disease clearing up, but people on the new drug also reporting a marked improvement in their quality of life as they felt more confident and suffered less from itching - far more than in the other two groups."

Ixekizumab acts as a monoclonal antibody that mitigates the inflammatory effects of interleukin-17A, which is recognized as a primary culprit of red and scaly psoriasis plaques.

"The objective for treating psoriasis has been to reduce the visible symptoms," Griffiths said. "But new drugs are fast showing us that a realistic goal for all patients should be attaining clear skin and this trial very much sets us on that path."