DMARDs and Biologics

Information about DMARDs and Biologics in the treatment of psoriasis.

Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) are a class of drugs which can stop the progression of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. These drugs often have serious side effects, but given the importance of not letting arthritis damage joints, the possible complications are often acceptable (especially when the choice is between being able to move and not moving). These drugs may, in some cases of severe psoriasis with or without arthritis, also be useful in reducing the skin symptoms of the disease.

Biologics are drugs (or devices) which are produced by living organisms. These are, these days, typically proteins. This area of drug research is where most of the psoriasis drugs under development are coming from. Creating specialized proteins which interfere with specific parts of the human immune system suspected to play a role in creating psoriasis symptoms.

Reviewed Treatments and Information

Unreviewed Treatments and Information

ABX-IL8 (made by Abgenix)
Amevive™ (alefacept, LFA3TIP — made by Biogen)
Anti-IL2R (Simulect®, basiliximab)
Biologic Therapy for Psoriasis from the Archives of Dermatology

Biospace News: Psoriasis

Enbrel (etanercept — made by Immunex Corporation, marketed by Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals)
The Heartbreak of Psoriasis


HumaT4 (Made by Intracel)

HuMax-CD4 (Made by Genmab A/S)

HuMax-IL15 (Made by Genmab A/S)

IDEC-114 (made by BIogen IDEC)
MEDI-507 (siplizumab — made by MedImmune)
Monoclonals Get Slammed

No More Itching in N’Awlins

P38 Kinase Inhibitors

Psoriasis Drugs Prepare to Go Head-to-Head (June 15, 2001)

Psoriasis Relief, at a Price

Raptiva™ (efalizumab, anti-CD11a, used to be called Xanelim — made by Genentech and XOMA)

Important note! On April 10th, 2009, the National Psoriasis Foundation sent out the following email:

The maker of the psoriasis drug Raptiva (efalizumab) is pulling the drug from the U.S. market because of its association with a rare and usually fatal brain infection. Psoriasis patients taking Raptiva should immediately talk to their doctor about finding an alternative treatment, says the National Psoriasis Foundation. Stopping Raptiva abruptly could lead to a severe psoriasis flare, so patients should be sure to talk to their doctors before they stop treatment.

Genentech, the drug’s maker, has announced a phased withdrawal of the drug, which is associated with a higher risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which can attack people with weakened immune systems.

Genentech researchers say that Raptiva’s effects typically wear off by 12 weeks after the patient’s last dose. “The risk of developing PML after 12 weeks should be greatly reduced,” said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., Psoriasis Foundation research director. “Raptiva has a fairly short life in the immune system once the patient stops using the drug.”

The email included a link to Genentech’s press release about this very important news. The National Psoriasis Foundation itself doesn’t have much to say.

Genentech Home page
PROHOST’s Version of the March 5, 2001 Information
New Treatments on the Horizon for Psoriasis
Cincinatti Enquirer Business Digest (April 6, 2002)

Remicade® (infliximab — made by Centocor)
Say Farewell to the Psoriasis Heartbreak

Solid Gold Sales

Xerecept® (hCRF, Neurobiological Technologies, Inc.)

Zenapax® (anti-CD25, daclizumab — made by PDLI)