Researchers from the University of Manchester have found that a drug called ixekizumab could be the hope that patients with psoriasis have been waiting for. The study that tested the effectiveness of the drug yields a 90 percent skin improvement rate and a 40 percent clearance of psoriatic plaques among study participants.

The scientists conducted the study by administering a dose of ixekizumab to 1,250 patients every two to four week. Another group of patients with psoriasis, on the other hand, was given either a placebo or a well-known medication for psoriasis called etanercept.

The researchers used the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index to measure the results of the clinical trials. The findings of the research show that those who were given ixekizumab exhibit significant and fast improvements, compared to those who were given placebo and etanercept. Approximately 50 percent of the ixekizumab group elicit improved conditions as early as the fourth week of testing, and significantly high favorable outcomes are noted in 71 percent of the patients during the 12th week.

Ixekizumab is a monoclonal antibody that has anti-inflammatory properties to balance the effects of interleukin (IL)-17A, which is identified as one of the primary etiologies of psoriasis' distinct red and scaly patches.

"The visible effects of psoriasis can have a major and life-ruining impact on people's confidence and self-esteem," said Chris Griffiths, study lead author and professor at the University of Manchester. "What we saw in this trial was not just the physical aspects of the disease clearing up, but people on the new drug also reporting a marked improvement in their quality of life as they felt more confident and suffered less from itching—far more than in the other two groups."

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by flaky and itchy skin plaques, caused by the presence of excess skin cells. Patients with psoriasis often experience the social burden of seeing the changes to their skin and the embarrassment caused by it. This skin problem affects about 2 to 3 percent of the British population and is also diagnosed in celebrities such as Cara Delevigne, Kim Kardashian and Alan Carr.

In conventional medical management, the plan of care for patients with psoriasis focuses on alleviating symptoms, says Griffiths. "But new drugs are fast showing us that a realistic goal for all patients should be attaining clear skin and this trial very much sets us on that path."

Photo: Mysi Ann | Flickr

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.