Interleukin-17 inhibitors may modify approach to psoriasis

May 1, 2012

Two experimental psoriasis drugs that target the interleukin (IL)-17 signaling pathway led to significant improvements in skin lesions for most patients over 12 weeks, separate phase 2 studies show.

Key Points

Inhibiting IL-17 may be an effective approach for managing psoriasis with fewer of the immunosuppressive effects seen with current biologic therapies, results indicate.

Patients showed marked improvements after treatment with the human monoclonal antibody brodalumab (Amgen) and the humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody ixekizumab (Eli Lilly), according to studies published March 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine (2012;366(13):1181-1189 and 1190-1199, respectively). Both studies were double-blinded and placebo-controlled.

He added that the IL-17 approach may address some of the concerns seen with other biologic therapies such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. While anti-TNF drugs have improved treatment choices for patients with autoimmune diseases, the need for biologic agents that demonstrate "fewer side effects and a milder effect on the immune system" is clear, he wrote.