An experimental drug called ustekinumab shows
better treatment outcomes that established a drug, Enbrel, to treat moderate to
severe plaque psoriasis in a new trial.
In a press release, the pharmaceutical company Centocor, which makes
ustekinumab and sponsored the study, called the new drug "superior" to
But Amgen, the pharmaceutical company that makes Enbrel, notes that the
study only lasted for 12 weeks and not addressed the long-term security.
Both ustekinumab as Enbrel are biological drugs. Ustekinumab focuses on
two chemicals inciting, interleukin 12 and interleukin 23. Enbrel is a
blocker of TNF, that is, inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
In the new study, 903 patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis or
ustekinumab achieved (in a dose higher or lower) or Enbrel for 12 weeks.
Patients in groups of ustekinumab got a shot of the experimental drug in
their assigned dose when the study began and another shot four weeks later.
Patients in the Enbrel group got two shots of Enbrel each week for 12
weeks. Results of the study
By the end of the study, 65% of patients in the group of ustekinumab of
lower-dose and almost 71% of those in the group of ustekinumab higher-dose
was at most minimal signs of their psoriasis, according their doctors,
compared to 49% of patients treated with Enbrel.
Both drugs were generally well tolerated and were taken similar profiles
of security during the study, according to data presented in Paris at the
European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress.
"This study is significant for the community of dermatology, as in the
first test of Comparator biological therapies for psoriasis," researcher
Christopher Griffiths, MD, FRCP, University of Manchester in England, said
in a news release from Centocor .
"The treatment with ustekinumab ... has demonstrated clinical efficacy
with significant injections of rare-be administered. These are important
factors in assessing the burden of disease for many patients living with
moderate to severe psoriasis who are candidates for and a biological
treatment, "notes Griffiths.
In an e-mail, Sonia Fiorenza, the director of corporate communications for
Amgen, WebMD said that "the big question with any new therapy, especially
a focus on a new path, not the short term effectiveness, safety is long
term. This study of 12 weeks does not direct that question. "
Fiorenza said Enbrel "continues to have a consistent profile of security,"
has been used for 16 years, is "the number prescribed a biological
psoriasis, and in 80% of patients are extremely satisfied with Enbrel."
Centocor ustekinumab has been submitted for FDA approval. In June, an
advisory panel recommended that the FDA approve ustekinumab. The FDA often
follows the recommendations of its panels consultants, but has not
compelled to do so.