Psoriasis affects approximately three per cent of the global population, and is believed to be caused by abnormal production of skin cells at accelerated rates, resulting in red skin patches. In addition to the itchy skin, psoriasis is linked to increased risk of depression, arthritis, lymphomas, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Findings from the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, report that the drug is highly effective in treating moderate to severe psoriasis in a majority of patients.
The trials included a total of 3,736 adult patients from 21 countries with moderate to severe psoriasis and were conducted at over 100 sites. Patients were randomly assigned to either receive injections of varying doses of the drug, ixekizumab, or a placebo for slightly more than one year. The trial measured the efficacy and safety of the drug over time, and it was evaluated by comparing changes in symptom severity with respect to placebo.
By the 12th week, 76.4 to 81.8 per cent of patients had their psoriasis classified as "clear" or "minimal" compared to 3.2 per cent of patients on the placebo. By the 60th week, 68.7 to 78.3 per cent of patients had maintained their improvement.