Canada’s Isotechnika has been boosted by the publication of a study in The Lancet of data that says the firm’s experimental compound voclosporin can relieve some of the symptoms of psoriasis.

Data from the Canadian Phase III trial of voclosporin, which is also known as ISA247, involved 451 patients aged 18 to 65 who had plaque psoriasis over at least 10% of the body. Researchers found that there was a clear relationship between drug dose and clinical response, suggesting that patients can be more accurately dosed to achieve desired response compared with currently marketed calcineurin inhibitors.

"The highest dose provided the best efficacy," Kim Papp of Probity Medical Research in Waterloo, Ontario and colleagues wrote in The Lancet. The authors noted that there are several monoclonal antibodies that target the immune response and may help against psoriasis, but they are expensive and inconvenient to use.

The authors conclude that ISA247 did not cause significantly more side effects than placebo, even at the highest doses, and “an improved safety profile, coupled with increased potency, could be of benefit to patients with plaque psoriasis".

Voclosporin is also currently being investigated for the prevention of organ rejection in kidney transplant patients.