September 02, 2014
1 min read

FDA: Future will bring more targeted therapies for psoriasis

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Psoriasis treatments have evolved from a step-by-step approach to more targeted therapies catered to the specific needs of each patient, according to a consumer update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Tomorrow’s treatments will become even more personalized, because the drugs in development now are targeting different aspects of the immune system,” Melinda L. McCord, MD, a dermatologist at the FDA, said in the consumer update.

In the previous stepwise approach, patients were treated with topical therapies; if they did not respond well to those, the patients would move on to other treatments like systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Today, however, patients and their doctors are able to select a treatment based on factors such as the severity of disease, the effectiveness of the treatment, lifestyle considerations, risk factors and associated diseases, according to McCord.

Because there is currently no cure for psoriasis, the main goals of treatment are the reduction of inflammation and stopping skin cells from growing so quickly.

The most recent FDA-approved biologic product, Stelara (ustekinumab, Janssen) contains an antibody that blocks the action of two proteins that contribute to inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells. Targeting these proteins allows for the interruption of the inflammatory pathway, according to McCord.

“As we learn more about the immune pathways that lead to the development of psoriasis, we can target specific molecules for treatment and make more therapeutic options available to patients,” McCord said.

To read the entire consumer update, click here.