Stelara May Be Better Than Enbrel for Psoriasis

01/15/2010 - News

Stelara May Be Better Than Enbrel for Psoriasis

By: June Chen, MD


Biologic agents are substances, such as antibodies or vaccines, that are made from a living organism or its products and are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases. Psoriasis is one condition in which biologic agents are useful, but the relative risk-benefit of the currently available biologic psoriasis treatments is not well known. In a study published in the January 14, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists report that Stelaraä (ustekinumab) seems to be superior to Enbrel®for the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis.

Researchers from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and their colleagues studies 903 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis who were randomly assigned to receive injections of either 45 or 90 mg of Stelara or high-dose Enbrel® for a period of 12 weeks. They used the psoriasis area-and-severity index to gauge improvement in each patient’s psoriasis symptoms. There was at least 75% improvement in the psoriasis area-and-severity index in 67.5% of patients who received 45 mg of Stelara and in 73.8% of those who received the 90 mg dose. In contrast, 56.8% of patients who received Enbrel® experienced at least 75% improvement in their psoriasis symptoms. A greater percentage of patients who received Stelara experienced cleared or minimal psoriasis than those treated with Enbrel®.

The researchers also found that nearly half of patients whose psoriasis did not respond to Enbrel® experienced at least 75% improvement in their psoriasis area-and-severity index after switching to Stelara. The risk of adverse events was similar among all three treatments. So, it seems that, for patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, the efficacy of Stelara is superior to that of Enbrel®.



NEJM. 2010;362:118-128.


Created on: 01/15/2010
Reviewed on: 01/15/2010

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