Advances in biologics

January 17, 2009

Kohala Coast, HI - An up-and-coming drug from Abbott Laboratories may offer great promise in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, according to Mark Lebwohl, M.D., chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Kohala Coast, HI

- An up-and-coming drug from Abbott Laboratories may offer great promise in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, according to Mark Lebwohl, M.D., chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Speaking at the Winter Clinical Dermatology Conference, Dr. Lebwohl highlighted results from a phase two clinical trial that appears to show significant safety and efficacy results for Abbott’s ABT-874.

Sixty-three percent of patients enrolled in the trial achieved PASI 75 at week 12 after receiving one 200 mg dose of the drug, and 93 percent of patients achieved the same PASI score at week 12 after receiving 100 mg every other week. Dr Lebwohl said these results show great promise for ABT-874 in the treatment of plaque psoriasis.

Dr. Lebwohl also discussed the "dramatic" decrease in death rates for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients taking currently available TNF blockers. According to a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in 2007, patients undergoing anti-TNF therapy experienced 51 deaths out of a total of 3,177 patient years, while control patients experienced 137 deaths out of a total of 3,900 patient years.

Additionally, he cited a reduction in the incidence of myocardial infarction in patients with RA who respond to anti-TNF therapy, as recorded in results from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Registry. He also made mention of a study published in 2005 in The Journal of Rheumatology associating treatment with TNF blockers with a significantly lower incidence of first cardiovascular events in patients suffering from RA.

"This probably has to do with the anti-inflammatory effects of these drugs," Dr. Lebwohl explained, adding that such conclusions can be made because these drugs have been approved and available for the treatment of RA for more than 10 years now.

Dr. Lebwohl also discussed the apparent safety and efficacy of ustekinumab, a human interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody that is slated for release in the near future for the treatment of psoriasis.

According to a phase three clinical trial published in 2008 in The Lancet, 71 percent of patients taking 45 mg of the drug achieved PASI 75 at week 28, and 79 percent of patients taking 90 mg of the drug achieved PASI 75 at week 28. There appears to be no indication of serious adverse side effects for patients taking ustekinumab, Dr. Lebwohl added. DT