Ixekizumab superior to etanercept in psoriasis trials

August 25, 2014

Ixekizumab (Eli Lilly) has demonstrated superiority to etanercept (Enbrel, Amgen) in phase 3 studies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Ixekizumab (Eli Lilly) has demonstrated superiority to etanercept (Enbrel, Amgen) in phase 3 studies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

In three studies, patients were assigned to receive ixekizumab (80 mg every two or four weeks, after a 160 mg starting dose) or placebo for 12 weeks, according to a news release. In the first study (UNCOVER-1), patients who responded to treatment were assigned to continue treatment with either placebo or the drug for up to 60 weeks. In two active comparator studies (UNCOVER-2 and -3), patients could be assigned receive etanercept 50 mg twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Levels of skin clearance were significantly greater among patients in both dosing regimens of ixekizumab compared to placebo and etanercept at the 12-week endpoint, according to Eli Lilly. Between 78-90 percent of patients treated with ixekizumab every four weeks or every two weeks demonstrated at least a 75 percent reduction in Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score at 12 weeks. Thirty-one to 41 percent of these patients achieved PASI 100 - clear skin - at 12 weeks. About 5 to 7 percent of patients treated with etanercept achieved PASI 100.

Researchers observed statistically significant improvements in skin clearance measures for patients taking ixekizumab in as soon as the first week of treatment compared to placebo or etanercept. The improvements continued through week 12.

“Ixekizumab was discovered and engineered to achieve high affinity and specificity to the IL-17A (interleukin-17A) cytokine by Lilly Research Laboratory scientists,” Tom Bumol, Ph.D., senior vice president of biotech discovery research, Lilly Research Laboratories, said in the news release. “These data appear to confirm our hypothesis - that IL-17A is a major driver of excess keratinocyte proliferation and activation in psoriasis. We’re courage that this discovery by Lilly scientists could provide a new treatment option for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.”

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