Targeted Biologic Therapies Are Revolutionizing Treatment for Plaque Psoriasis

Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis
Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis

Psoriasis is a systemic, chronic immune disease that affects the skin, nails, and joints of 3% to 4% of the US population.2 The disease is both disfiguring and disabling, causing not only physical discomfort but taking a toll on work-related activities, social relationships, and mental health, leading to poor quality of life.2

Of the approximately 7.5 million people in the United States with psoriasis, one-fifth have moderate-to-severe disease,1 in which the condition covers at least 10% of their body surface area,4 and 80% to 90% have plaque psoriasis, the most common form.1

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated inflammatory disorder believed to result from a complex interaction of environmental factors, T cells, dendritic cells, cytokines, and genetic loci. Specifically, the cytokine interleukin (IL)-17, secreted by type 1 T helper cells, is critical in development of psoriasis, while IL-12 and IL-23, pro-inflammatory cytokines, have been shown to drive type 17 T helper cell activation.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved six biologic agents for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Each was developed based on an increased understanding of the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab are tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) antagonists; ustekinumab is an IL-20/23p40 inhibitor; and secukinumab and ixekizumab are IL-17A inhibitors.4