Biologic medicine effective against refractory psoriatic arthritis

Trial supports the use of ixekizumab as an option for patients who are unable to take TNF inhibitors.

Hands with psoriatic arthritis

There are limited treatment options for people with psoriatic arthritis who either do not respond to or are unable to take tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors.

In a phase III trial, published in The Lancet
(online, 24 May 2017), 363 people with refractory psoriatic arthritis were randomly assigned to placebo or ixekizumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin 17A, administered every two or four weeks.

After 24 weeks, more people who received ixekizumab every four weeks had at least a 20% significant improvement in the American College of Rheumatology response criteria compared with those who received placebo (53% vs 20%). The same was also true of people who received ixekizumab every two weeks (48%).

The researchers conclude that ixekizumab, which has already been shown to be effective in treatment-naive patients, is an alternative option for difficult-to-treat psoriatic arthritis patients who have had an inadequate response, or intolerance, to TNF inhibitors.


[1] Nash P, Kirkham B, Okada M et al. Ixekizumab for the treatment of patients with active psoriatic arthritis and an inadequate response to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors: results from the 24-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled period of the SPIRIT-P2 phase 3 trial. Lancet 2017; doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31429-0

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, July 2017, Vol 9, No 7;9(7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202937

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