(HealthDay News) — Ixekizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 17A, may offer a new and efficacious option for patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, according to two phase 3 clinical trials reported online June 10 in The Lancet.

The two trials (UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3) included patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis (1,224 patients in UNCOVER-2 and 1,346 patients in UNCOVER-3). Patients were randomly assigned to subcutaneous placebo, etanercept (50mg twice weekly), or one injection of 80mg ixekizumab every two weeks, or every four weeks after a 160mg starting dose.

After 12 weeks of treatment, the researchers found that the patients taking ixekizumab showed better results than those taking etanercept or the placebo. In combined studies, serious adverse events were reported in 1.9% of patients given ixekizumab every two weeks, 1.9% of patients given ixekizumab every four weeks, 1.9% of patients given placebo, and 1.9% of patients given etanercept; no deaths were noted.

“Both ixekizumab dose regimens had greater efficacy than placebo and etanercept over 12 weeks in two independent studies,” the authors conclude. “These studies show that selectively neutralizing interleukin 17A with a high affinity antibody potentially gives patients with psoriasis a new and effective biological therapy option.”

The trial was funded by Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of ixekizumab.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)