Ustekinumab Trial Shows Improvements in Psoriatic Arthritis Patients

Specialty Pharmacy Times, March/April 2014, Volume 5, Issue 2

Adults living with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) saw significant improvements in skin and joint condition through treatment with ustekinumab (Stelara) during a phase III trial, according to a study published online January 30, 2014, in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, researchers randomized 312 adults with active PsA, regardless of prior treatment with conventional and biological anti-tumor necrosis factor agents. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed that after 6 months of treatment with ustekinumab, 43.8% of patients achieved a 20% improvement rate in their joint symptoms defined by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR20). This result contrasted favorably with the 20.2% of patients who achieved ACR20 while taking a placebo.

“Clinical improvements translated into significantly improved physical function and quality of life among ustekinumab-treated patients,” the researchers wrote.

Treatment with ustekinumab, an interleukin-12/23 inhibitor, also yielded improved skin condition, as 60.6% and 43.7% of patients showed marked improvement on the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, with scores of PASI75 and PASI90, respectively, after 1 year.

Ultimately, patients treated with ustekinumab showed significantly higher ACR20 response rates after 24 weeks than those treated with a placebo, according to the study. While some patients showed improvement as soon as 4 weeks into treatment, maximum efficacy was generally not reached until weeks 24 through 28, researchers said. There were no unanticipated AEs. SPT