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Positive phase III results for briakinumab show great effectiveness in treating psoriasis

Briakinumab appears to be superior compared to Enbrel, methotrexate and placebo in clinical trials

A greater percentage of people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis achieved 75 percent or better skin clearance when treated with briakinumab compared to those treated with Enbrel, methotrexate or a placebo, four new clinical studies show.

Briakinumab, an investigational biologic medication from Abbott, targets IL-12/23 proteins that are linked to inflammation. Briakinumab is the second in this class to have completed phase III trials for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. Most prescribed biologics used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis target a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) that's also linked to inflammation.

In a 52-week study comparing briakinumab to placebo, significantly more patients experienced skin clearance versus patients with placebo. The study showed:

  • A 75 percent skin clearance at week 12 was achieved in more than 80 percent of patients receiving briakinumab every four weeks versus 4.5 percent with placebo;
  • A 90 percent skin clearance was achieved in 61.6 percent on briakinumab versus 1.4 percent on placebo;
  • 100 percent skin clearance was achieved in 32 percent of patients versus no placebo patients.

Three other clinical studies compared the effectiveness of briakinumab to Enbrel and methotrexate with similarly significant results.

"We are pleased to see the strong effect of briakinumab for psoriasis," said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., the director of research and medical programs for the National Psoriasis Foundation. "Because the response to psoriasis treatments varies for individuals, it's important to have as many treatments options as possible, and briakinumab looks like it could be an important addition to the repertoire of psoriasis treatments."

Oct. 15, 2010

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