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New Biologic Ustekinumab Receives Approval in Europe for Treatment of Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis
In clinical studies, treatment with ustekinumab demonstrated significant improvements in patients' psoriasis, and quality of life, which were sustained with as few as four injections a year (every twelve weeks) following two starter doses at weeks 0 and 4. The approval of ustekinumab offers adults living with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis a new therapy which has the potential to make a considerable impact on their daily lives.
The approval is based on data from two large, pivotal Phase III, multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trials (PHOENIX 1 & 2) involving nearly 2,000 patients in whom the efficacy and safety of ustekinumab in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis were evaluated.(4,5) Two-thirds or more of patients achieved the primary endpoint of each trial, at least 75% improvement in psoriasis using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 75) at week 12, after receiving just two doses of ustekinumab 45 mg or 90 mg, respectively, at weeks 0 and 4. At week 12, 66 percent to 76 percent of patients receiving ustekinumab 45 mg or 90 mg doses, respectively, achieved PASI 75 compared with 3 to 4 percent of patients receiving placebo (p Rates of serious adverse events, including serious infections, malignancies and cardiovascular events, were low and consistent with the expected background rates. The most common adverse reactions in Phase III clinical trials were arthralgia, cough, headache, injection site erythema, nasopharyngitis and upper respiratory tract infection. Most were considered to be mild and did not necessitate discontinuation of therapy.
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory disease, which results from the over-production of skin cells resulting in their accumulation on the surface of the skin, which causes red, scaly plaques that may itch and bleed. It is estimated that between two and three percent of the European population have psoriasis.(1) Twenty to thirty percent of people with psoriasis have cases that are considered severe.(6)
About Stelara (ustekinumab)
Ustekinumab is a new, human monoclonal antibody with a novel mechanism of action that targets the p40 sub-unit of cytokines interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23), naturally occurring proteins that are important in regulating immune responses and that are thought to be associated with some immune-mediated inflammatory disorders, including plaque psoriasis. In the United States, the Biologics License Application (BLA) for ustekinumab is under regulatory review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).