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      Comparative assessment of biologics in treatment of psoriasis: drug design and clinical effectiveness of ustekinumab

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          The development of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is a multistep process that leads to chronic or recurrent inflammation. Recent studies have suggested the importance of T helper (TH)1 and TH17 cells, accessory cells, and proinflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of the enthesis, synovium, and skin involvement in psoriasis in the presence of susceptibility genes that remain quiescent until triggered. Biologics, such as soluble CTLA-4 immunoglobulin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, and ustekinumab, inhibit T cell activation which eventually leads to further stimulation of the interleukin 12, 17, and 23 axis, TNF-α, and lymphotoxin-α. Treatment with TNF-α blockers has been effective in refractory psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, but there is still a subgroup of patients who do not respond to TNF inhibitors and, paradoxically, when treated, may develop TNF-induced psoriasis. Ustekinumab, because of its different mechanism of action at the level of the interleukin 12, 17, and 23 pathways, is an alternative treatment for this group of patients.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Development, cytokine profile and function of human interleukin 17-producing helper T cells.

          T(H)-17 cells are a distinct lineage of proinflammatory T helper cells that are essential for autoimmune disease. In mice, commitment to the T(H)-17 lineage is dependent on transforming growth factor-beta and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Here we demonstrate that IL-23 and IL-1beta induced the development of human T(H)-17 cells expressing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22, IL-26, interferon-gamma, the chemokine CCL20 and transcription factor RORgammat. In situ, T(H)-17 cells were identified by expression of the IL-23 receptor and the memory T cell marker CD45RO. Psoriatic skin lesions contained IL-23-producing dendritic cells and were enriched in the cytokines produced by human T(H)-17 cells that promote the production of antimicrobial peptides in human keratinocytes. Our data collectively indicate that human and mouse T(H)-17 cells require distinct factors during differentiation and that human T(H)-17 cells may regulate innate immunity in epithelial cells.
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            Pathogenesis and therapy of psoriasis.

            Psoriasis is one of the most common human skin diseases and is considered to have key genetic underpinnings. It is characterized by excessive growth and aberrant differentiation of keratinocytes, but is fully reversible with appropriate therapy. The trigger of the keratinocyte response is thought to be activation of the cellular immune system, with T cells, dendritic cells and various immune-related cytokines and chemokines implicated in pathogenesis. The newest therapies for psoriasis target its immune components and may predict potential treatments for other inflammatory human diseases.
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              Efficacy and safety of ustekinumab, a human interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody, in patients with psoriasis: 52-week results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (PHOENIX 2).

              Ustekinumab, a human monoclonal antibody against interleukins 12 and 23, has shown therapeutic potential for psoriasis. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of ustekinumab in psoriasis patients and assessed dosing intensification in partial responders. In this multicentre, phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 1230 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis (defined by a psoriasis area and severity index [PASI] score > or =12, and at least 10% total body surface area involvement) were randomly assigned to receive ustekinumab 45 mg (n=409) or 90 mg (n=411) at weeks 0 and 4, then every 12 weeks, or placebo (n=410). Partial responders (ie, patients achieving > or =50% but <75% improvement from baseline in PASI) were re-randomised at week 28 to continue dosing every 12 weeks or escalate to dosing every 8 weeks. Both randomisations were done with a minimisation method via a centralised interactive voice response. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving at least 75% improvement in PASI (PASI 75) at week 12. Analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00307437. All randomised patients were included in the efficacy analysis. 273 (66.7%) patients receiving ustekinumab 45 mg, 311 (75.7%) receiving ustekinumab 90 mg, and 15 (3.7%) receiving placebo achieved the primary endpoint (difference in response rate 63.1%, 95% CI 58.2-68.0, p<0.0001 for the 45 mg group vs placebo and 72.0%, 67.5-76.5, p<0.0001 for the 90 mg group vs placebo). More partial responders at week 28 who received ustekinumab 90 mg every 8 weeks achieved PASI 75 at week 52 than did those who continued to receive the same dose every 12 weeks (22 [68.8%] vs 11 [33.3%]; difference in response rate 35.4%, 95% CI 12.7-58.1, p=0.004). There was no such response to changes in dosing intensity in partial responders treated with ustekinumab 45 mg. During the placebo-controlled phase, 217 (53.1%) patients in the 45 mg group, 197 (47.9%) in the 90 mg group, and 204 (49.8%) in the placebo group experienced adverse events; serious adverse events were seen in eight (2.0%) patients in the 45 mg group, five (1.2%) in the 90 mg group, and eight (2.0%) in the placebo group. Although treatment with ustekinumab every 12 weeks is effective for most patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, intensification of dosing to once every 8 weeks with ustekinumab 90 mg might be necessary to elicit a full response in patients who only partially respond to the initial regimen.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                10 January 2011
                : 5
                : 41-49
                Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: LR Espinoza, Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, 1542 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112-2822, USA, Tel +1 504 412 1366, Fax +1 504 412 1367, Email lespin1@ 123456lsuhsc.edu
                © 2011 Garcia-Valladares et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.



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