Biological Treatments

In the past 10 years there has been a dramatic improvement in clinical outcomes for patients with severe psoriasis due to the introduction of a new class of injectable drugs called biologics. These work by targeting specific parts of the immune system which are important in causing the condition.

However, these drugs are very expensive (estimated annual cost is £10,000 per patient) and a significant number of patients fail to respond adequately to treatment with these drugs.

Response to treatment with biologics

While there are a number of biological treatments available, as part of its programme of research, PSORT will initially focus on the biologics:

  • adalimumab (a monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to tumour necrosis factor alpha to limit inflammation),
  • ustekinumab (a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukins 12/23; proteins involved with regulating the immune responses) and
  • secukinumab (human monoclonal antibody that binds to and neutralises interleukin‑17A).

The dynamic aspect of PSORT will allow us to include other new biologics and small molecules available for the treatment of psoriasis.

Examples of other biologic treatments

  • Brodalumab (a recombinant human monoclonal antibody that binds with high affinity to interleukin-17RA and blocks the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines).  Brodalumab was approved by NICE in March 2018 for use in the UK and Ireland as an option for treating severe plaque psoriasis in adults particularly if the disease has not responded to systemic therapies including ciclosporin, methotrexate and PUVA (psoralen and long-wave ultraviolet A radiation) or these options are contraindicated or not tolerated.
  • Other biologics that block the activity of IL-17A including Taltz (ixekizumab) are currently available for people with severe psoriasis.

More information on these and other biological treatments is available via NICE.