Navigation Links
Experimental Psoriasis Drug Bests Older Treatment

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental psoriasis treatment performed significantly better than the commonly prescribed medication methotrexate in a new clinical trial.

The drug briakinumab reduced psoriasis symptoms by at least 75 percent in nearly 82 percent of those taking it, compared to just 40 percent of those on methotrexate. But serious side effects were more common among the briakinumab users.

"Very high levels of response" were observed and maintained throughout the study period, said lead researcher Dr. Kristian Reich, a professor of dermatology at the University of Gottingen and a managing partner at Dermatologikum Hamburg, both in Germany.

Results of the study are published in the Oct. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by the drug's manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories.

Psoriasis affects about 5 million Americans, according to the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The disease causes patches of thick, red, inflamed skin that have silvery scales. Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, including the skin, nails, genitals and inside the mouth, according to NIAMS.

The current study included 317 people with moderate to severe psoriasis. The study volunteers had had psoriasis for at least six months, and the condition affected at least 10 percent of their bodies.

Nearly half of the study participants were randomly selected to receive injections of briakinumab at a dose of 200 milligrams (mg) for the first and fourth week of the study, and 100 mg at week eight and every four weeks thereafter. The study lasted one year. The remaining volunteers were given between 5 mg and 25 mg of oral methotrexate weekly.

After six months, nearly 82 percent of those in the briakinumab group had at least a 75 percent improvement in the psoriasis area-and-severity index (PASI), a commonly used measurement to assess the severity of psoriasis. Slightly less than 40 percent of those on methotrexate had a 75 percent improvement in their PASI score, according to the study.

After a year, about 66 percent of those taking briakinumab had a 75 percent improvement in their PASI score compared to almost 24 percent for those on methotrexate, according to the study.

Briakinumab works by dampening the immune system response that causes psoriasis, said Bruce Bebo, director of research and medical programs for the National Psoriasis Foundation, based in Portland, Ore.

More serious infections were seen in people taking briakinumab (2.6 percent) vs. those taking methotrexate (1.8 percent). There were also two cases of cancer in people taking briakinumab and none in the methotrexate group. However, the researchers said these differences weren't statistically significant.

"Cancer risk is extremely hard to define, and this study was not powered to detect any difference in the risk of developing a malignancy," said Bebo.

He said that in an earlier trial of briakinumab, some unexplained major adverse cardiac events occurred. At the time, Abbott withdrew its application for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pending further research. In the current study, no serious cardiovascular events were reported.

Of the increased infections and cancers, Reich said, "Although these differences were not statistically significant, they lead to questions regarding a favorable risk-benefit profile of the drug."

Research on briakinumab is continuing. An ongoing three-year trial involves 248 people from the current study.

For people living with psoriasis, Bebo said the message from this study is that "dramatic progress has been made from where we were just five years ago."

More information

Learn more about psoriasis treatments from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

SOURCES: Kristian Reich, M.D., professor, dermatology, University of Gottingen, and managing partner, Dermatologikum Hamburg, Germany; Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., director, research and medical programs, National Psoriasis Foundation, Portland, Ore.; Oct. 27, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental Drug Offers Hope for Cystic Fibrosis Patients
2. Experimental Vaccine Shields Monkeys Against Ebola
3. Experimental targeted therapy shows early promise against medulloblastomas
4. Experimental nonsteroidal treatment of asthma shows promise
5. Experimental obesity drug avoids brain effects that troubled predecessors
6. Experimental treatments for cocaine addiction may prevent relapse
7. Experimental TB Test Called Fast and Accurate
8. Experimental Drug Shows Promise for Bone Marrow Disorder
9. Experimental Leukemia Drug Proves a Slam Dunk
10. Experimental Test May Spot Prostate Cancer Earlier, More Accurately
11. Experimental Drug Aids Kids With Nervous System Tumor
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Experimental Psoriasis Drug Bests Older Treatment
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... , ... Pixel Film Studios is back again with ProPanel: Pulse . ... endless. Users have full control over angle of view, speed method, start point, end ... to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers fully customizable pulsating shape masks, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the health care in America. As people age, more care is needed, especially ... are rising, and medical professionals are being overworked. The forgotten part of this ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... November 27th edition of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South ... 750,000. The digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply ... Jones, is an interesting show that delves into an array of issues that are ... that could benefit from open dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. Patrick ... Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital ... present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart damage ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... 2015 CIVCO Medical Solutions will demonstrate ... Radiological Society of North America ... November 29 – December 4, 2015. The ... customers unrivaled versatility, enhanced user experience and deliver ... --> --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015  Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: LCI ... acquisition of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc. (KU), the ... company UCB S.A. (Euronext: UCB). ... KU from UCB for total consideration of approximately ... customary working capital adjustment, a deduction of certain ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 ... kondigt de geplande investering aan van ten ... de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en ... aan de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: