New topical drug could treat plaque psoriasis

August 4, 2013

A topical application of tofacitinib may offer a future therapeutic option for patients with plaque psoriasis, according to a recent study.

 

A topical application of tofacitinib may offer a future therapeutic option for patients with plaque psoriasis, according to a recent study.

Investigators with Pfizer and the University of Montreal studied the safety and efficacy of the Janus kinase inhibitor tofacitinib in 71 patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Two ointment formulations of the drug were evaluated. Patients were randomized to receive 2 percent tofacitinib ointment 1, vehicle 1, 2 percent tofacitinib ointment 2 or vehicle 2. For each group, the treatment was administered twice daily for four weeks to a single fixed 300 cm2 treatment area that contained a target plaque with or without one or more nontarget plaques and normal skin, according to the study abstract.

Tofacitinib ointment 1 was well tolerated and efficacious compared with vehicle, researchers found.

At week four, investigators saw a statistically significant improvement in the target plaque severity score from baseline for ointment 1 [least squares mean (LSM) -54·4 percent] vs. vehicle 1 (LSM -41·5 percent), but not ointment 2 (LSM -24·2 percent) vs. vehicle 2 (LSM -17·2 percent).

The study, funded by Pfizer, was published in the July issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.

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