Background Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that can impact heavily on a patient’s well-being. Efalizumab, a unique, targeted, biological therapy, has demonstrated efficacy in treating moderate-to-severe, chronic plaque psoriasis with ≤36 months of continuous therapy. The objective of this Extended Access Program (EAP) was to evaluate further the benefit of efalizumab as long-term therapy in a real-world clinical setting. Methods After an initial conditioning dose of efalizumab (0.7 mg/kg subcutaneously), a weekly dose of efalizumab (1.0 mg/kg) was administered for ≤21 months. Patients with reduced Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores (≥50%, or a score ≤8) at month 3 entered the long-term maintenance treatment period. Results In total, 101 patients (>18 years) with severe plaque psoriasis enrolled on the EAP, of these 93 (92.1%) met all the inclusion criteria. After 3 months of treatment, 84/101 (83.2%) patients had evaluable data and entered the maintenance period. After 3 months, 57/84 (67.9%) patients had achieved PASI-50. Using an intent-to-treat analysis, after 21 months of treatment, PASI-75 and PASI-50 were achieved by 43/101 (42.6%) and 69/101 (68.3%) of patients, respectively. Efalizumab was generally well tolerated during the 21 months of continuous therapy. Conclusion Efalizumab, 1.0 mg/kg/week, is effective and well tolerated in a ‘real world’ clinical setting, providing enduring reduction of psoriasis symptoms for up to 21 months.
|Journal||International Journal of Dermatology|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
Foley, P., Freeman, M., Gebauer, K., Murrell, D., Schumack, S., Tyson, C., & Varigos, G. (2009). Long-term efalizumab therapy for patients with moderate-to-severe, chornic plaque psoriasis: results from an Australian expanded access program. International Journal of Dermatology, 48(12), 1376-1384.