Dermatology

A recent study says step therapy in rheumatoid (RA) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can hurt treatment outcomes.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) will allow for more tailored and rational use of biologics in psoriasis.
Amgen announced yesterday that it will acquire apremilast (Otezla) from Celgene. The small-molecule drug, which inhibits phosphodiesterase 4, specific for cyclic adenosine monophosphate, is an orally administered therapy for patients with psoriatic arthritis and patients with plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy.
Republic of Korea–based drug maker Celltrion announced this week that it is launching its first clinical trial of CT-P39, a proposed biosimilar omalizumab referencing Xolair. The company says that it plans to enter phase 3 trials in the first half of 2020 and has plans to commercialize the biosimilar by 2022.
A recent study found no difference in the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) or major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) associated with ustekinumab versus anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy in patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
Given the head-to-head data from the SPIRIT trial, Humira maker AbbVie may face even further challenges in trying to maintain its sales as newer products like ixekizumab advance in such therapeutic areas as psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Given the cost of the brand-name drug, there is interest among providers, particularly in contexts with limited resources, in using a biosimilar rituximab to treat pemphigus, and recently, 2 studies reported on the use of biosimilar rituximab in treating this disease.
Treatment with the biosimilar, the investigators concluded, resulted in comparable, maintained quality of life improvements that were not impacted by a switch from the reference product.
Patients with psoriasis taking new prescriptions of apremilast, etanercept, and ustekinumab had a decreased rate of serious infection compared with those taking methotrexate, according to an analysis of medical records from 2 large US claims databases.
This week, dermatology experts are gathering in Paris, France, for the 6th Congress of Skin Inflammation and Psoriasis International Network to discuss advances in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. During the congress, researchers from the University of Verona in Verona, Italy, will report findings from a study in which patients were switched between 2 different biosimilar infliximab products during treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis.

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