Ixekizumab: a new anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody therapy for moderate-to severe plaque psoriasis

Andrew Blauvelt
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 2016, 16 (2): 255-63

INTRODUCTION: Psoriasis is a common, systemic, inflammatory disease with prominent skin and joint manifestations. Interleukin 17A (IL-17A) has been identified as a key effector cytokine that mediates immunopathogenesis of psoriasis. Ixekizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets IL-17A, has been found in clinical trials to dramatically reduce signs and symptoms of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

AREAS COVERED: The following areas are discussed: the basic structure and function of IL-17A, its role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, the safety and efficacy of ixekizumab in clinical trials reported to date, and the possible impact of ixekizumab on the future therapeutic market for psoriasis.

EXPERT OPINION: A large proportion of patients with psoriasis achieve clear or near clear skin during treatment with ixekizumab in a rapid and sustained manner. This supports the idea that IL-17A plays a central role in psoriasis immunopathogenesis. While ixekizumab has been shown to be safe in trials up to 60 weeks, long-term safety data are not yet available. Because its efficacy is higher than all previously approved drugs for psoriasis thus far, approval and use of ixekizumab may lead to a treatment paradigm change for psoriasis, where clear or near clear skin becomes an acceptable and achievable treatment goal.

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