Study suggest effectiveness of efalizumab in treating scalp psoriasis

October 7, 2008

Results of a recent study show that 68 percent of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis experienced improvement in scalp psoriasis within the first 12 weeks of treatment with efalizumab, Docguide.com reports.

Paris — Results of a recent study show that 68 percent of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis experienced improvement in scalp psoriasis within the first 12 weeks of treatment with efalizumab, Docguide.com reports.

The study, presented here at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology congress, was conducted by researchers at the Second Dermatology Clinic of the University of Bari in Italy. The multicenter, open-label study — the first prospective, post-approval review of efalizumab treatment — included a first treatment period with efalizumab at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg/week for 12 weeks, and a continuous treatment period that lasted up to 20 weeks.

The researchers enrolled 1,266 patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who had failed to respond to or had contraindications to other systemic therapies (cyclosporine, methotrexate, psoralen ultraviolet light A). In the intent-to-treat population of 1,255 patients, 688 patients received first treatment therapy with efalizumab. Of these, 853 — or 68 percent — achieved a Physician Global Assessment (PGA) rating of “good,” “excellent” or “clear” by week 12.

At week 20, 547 — or 79.5 percent — of the 688 patients had achieved a PGA rating of “good” or higher. Efalizumab treatment also maintained the improved or cleared condition of scalp psoriasis in these patients, the study reports.

Researchers conclude that these results reflect the outcomes of real-life usage of efalizumab at the approved dose and are consistent with results from earlier phase 3 trials.