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AAD: Remicade Beneficial in Severe Psoriasis

TNFα inhibitor leads to dramatic clinical improvement compared to placebo

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, treatment with the TNFα inhibitor Remicade (infliximab) leads to substantial clinical improvement, with more than half of patients treated at the higher dose experiencing nearly complete skin clearance, according to research presented this week at the American Academy of Dermatology's 66th Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Investigators reported research findings from three multi-center, double-blind, randomized controlled trials comparing Remicade to placebo in nearly 1,500 subjects with psoriasis. The Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) was used to measure clinical improvement.

In a combined analysis, after 10 weeks of treatment, 71 percent to 79 percent of patients receiving Remicade achieved a PASI of 75, indicating at least a 75 percent improvement in their psoriasis, compared to 3 percent of placebo-treated patients. Near complete skin clearance, with a PASI of 90, was seen in 39 percent and 52 percent of patients receiving a dose of 3 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg, respectively, compared to 1 percent of the placebo group. Adverse event rates were higher in the treated groups.

"This analysis shows that treatment with Remicade resulted in a consistently high level of clinical response in each quadrant of the body evaluated by PASI, and the results were consistent with patients' overall psoriasis improvement," said Alan Menter, M.D., of the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas. "Remicade remains an important advancement and biologic treatment option for a broad spectrum of patients with severe psoriasis."

Funding for the three studies provided by Centocor, Inc. and Schering-Plough.

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