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Apremilast in Psoriasis and Beyond: Big Hopes on a Small Molecule

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      Abstract

      Apremilast, an orally administered small molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), has been licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration for the management of active psoriatic arthritis (March 21, 2014) and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (September 23, 2014). It has got approval from Drug Controller General of India for marketing in India in 2017. The drug has drawn much attention from the practising dermatologists for its commendable safety profile and prescription convenience. Introduced initially as an orally administered small molecule in psoriasis patients, the drug has now been used in various other indications as evident by the recent surge in literature for its off-label uses. Being a relatively new drug in the treatment armamentarium of psoriasis and other inflammatory dermatoses; in this review, we will discuss various practical aspects of prescribing oral apremilast, based on the current and emerging literature.

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      Most cited references 95

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      Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis 2015 Treatment Recommendations for Psoriatic Arthritis.

      To update the 2009 Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) treatment recommendations for the spectrum of manifestations affecting patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
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        Treatment of psoriatic arthritis in a phase 3 randomised, placebo-controlled trial with apremilast, an oral phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor

        Objectives Apremilast, an oral phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, regulates inflammatory mediators. Psoriatic Arthritis Long-term Assessment of Clinical Efficacy 1 (PALACE 1) compared apremilast with placebo in patients with active psoriatic arthritis despite prior traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and/or biologic therapy. Methods In the 24-week, placebo-controlled phase of PALACE 1, patients (N=504) were randomised (1:1:1) to placebo, apremilast 20 mg twice a day (BID) or apremilast 30 mg BID. At week 16, patients without ≥20% reduction in swollen and tender joint counts were required to be re-randomised equally to either apremilast dose if initially randomised to placebo or remained on their initial apremilast dose. Patients on background concurrent DMARDs continued stable doses (methotrexate, leflunomide and/or sulfasalazine). Primary outcome was the proportion of patients achieving 20% improvement in modified American College of Rheumatology response criteria (ACR20) at week 16. Results At week 16, significantly more apremilast 20 mg BID (31%) and 30 mg BID (40%) patients achieved ACR20 versus placebo (19%) (p<0.001). Significant improvements in key secondary measures (physical function, psoriasis) were evident with both apremilast doses versus placebo. Across outcome measures, the 30-mg group generally had higher and more consistent response rates, although statistical comparison was not conducted. The most common adverse events were gastrointestinal and generally occurred early, were self-limiting and infrequently led to discontinuation. No imbalance in major adverse cardiac events, serious or opportunistic infections, malignancies or laboratory abnormalities was observed. Conclusions Apremilast was effective in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, improving signs and symptoms and physical function. Apremilast demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and was generally well tolerated. Clinical trial registration number NCT01172938.
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          Apremilast mechanism of action and application to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

           Peter Schafer (2012)
          Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are common clinical conditions that negatively impact health-related quality of life and are linked to serious medical comorbidities. Disease mechanisms involve local and systemic chronic inflammatory processes. Available biologic therapies specifically target single inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), in the context of a larger inflammatory signaling cascade. To interrupt this pathological cascade earlier in the response or further upstream, and return pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signaling to a homeostatic balance, the use of a phosphodiesterase4 (PDE4) inhibitor has been explored. PDE4 is the major enzyme class responsible for the hydrolysis of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), an intracellular second messenger that controls a network of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. With PDE4 inhibition, and the resulting increases in cAMP levels in immune and non-immune cell types, expression of a network of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators can be modulated. Apremilast is an orally available targeted PDE4 inhibitor that modulates a wide array of inflammatory mediators involved in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including decreases in the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, TNF-α, and interleukin (IL)-23 and increases IL-10. In phase II studies of subjects with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, apremilast reversed features of the inflammatory pathophysiology in skin and joints and significantly reduces clinical symptoms. The use of an oral targeted PDE4 inhibitor for chronic inflammatory diseases, like psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, represents a novel treatment approach that does not target any single mediator, but rather focuses on restoring a balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signals. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Department of Dermatology, IQRAA International Hospital and Research Centre, Calicut, Kerala, India
            [1 ] Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
            Author notes
            Address for correspondence: Dr. Sunil Dogra, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 012, India. E-mail: sundogra@ 123456hotmail.com
            Journal
            Indian Dermatol Online J
            Indian Dermatol Online J
            IDOJ
            Indian Dermatology Online Journal
            Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
            2229-5178
            2249-5673
            Jan-Feb 2019
            : 10
            : 1
            : 1-12
            6362739
            IDOJ-10-1
            10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_437_18
            Copyright: © 2019 Indian Dermatology Online Journal

            This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

            Categories
            Review Article

            Dermatology

            small molecules, safety, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, efficacy, apremilast

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