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Derm News: 2007.3(5)

A Human Interleukin-12/23 Monoclonal Antibody for the Treatment of Psoriasis

NEJM Volume 356:580-592, February 8, 2007, Number 6
Gerald G. Krueger, M.D., Richard G. Langley, M.D., Craig Leonardi, M.D., Newman Yeilding, M.D., Cynthia Guzzo, M.D., Yuhua Wang, Ph.D., Lisa T. Dooley, Dr.P.H., Mark Lebwohl, M.D.


Skin-infiltrating lymphocytes expressing type 1 cytokines have been linked to the pathophysiology of psoriasis. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of a human interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody in treating psoriasis.


In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 320 patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis underwent randomization to treatment with the interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody (one 45-mg dose, one 90-mg dose, four weekly 45-mg doses, or four weekly 90-mg doses) or placebo; 64 patients were randomly assigned to each group. Patients assigned to the interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody received one additional dose at week 16 if needed. Patients assigned to placebo crossed over to receive one 90-mg dose of interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody at week 20.


There was at least 75% improvement in the psoriasis area-and-severity index at week 12 (the primary end point) in 52% of patients who received 45 mg of the interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody, in 59% of those who received 90 mg, in 67% of those who received four weekly 45-mg doses, and in 81% of those who received four weekly 90-mg doses, as compared with 2% of those who received placebo (P<0.001 for each comparison), and there was at least 90% improvement in 23%, 30%, 44%, and 52%, respectively, of patients who received the monoclonal antibody as compared with 2% of patients who received placebo (P<0.001 for each comparison).

Adverse events occurred in 79% of patients treated with the interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody as compared with 72% of patients in the placebo group (P=0.19). Serious adverse events occurred in 4% of patients who received the monoclonal antibody and in 1% of those who received placebo (P=0.69).


This study demonstrates the therapeutic efficacy of an interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody in psoriasis and provides further evidence of a role of the interleukin-12/23 p40 cytokines in the pathophysiology of psoriasis. Larger studies are needed to determine whether serious adverse events might limit the clinical usefulness of this new therapeutic target.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.