Abbott Laboratories’ arthritis offering, Humira (adalimumab), improves both joint and skin symptoms in patients with psoriatic arthritis – an autoimmune disorder that combines symptoms of psoriasis, such as dry, scaly skin with arthritis symptoms, including joint pain and inflammation – and improved their quality of life, according to new data from the company presented at the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism.

The findings came from the so-called Adept trial, in which 42% of patients receiving Humira for 24 weeks achieved a 90% improvement in their symptoms, versus no patients in the placebo group. Humira receivers also saw significantly less change in bone and joint erosion than the placebo group (9% versus 29% respectively). Furthermore, patients taking Humira showed clinically significant improvements in seven out of eight quality of life categories (physical and social functioning, physical role limitations, bodily pain, general medical health, mental health and vitality), with a 6.1-point improvement in a questionnaire used to evaluate how skin disease impacts daily life, versus a 0.7-point improvement for placebo. Abbott notes that improving quality of life is important for psoriatic arthritis patients because the disease can limit both physical and social function, causing pain, disability and emotional problems.

Humira is currently approved in Europe and the USA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis [[11/09/03b]], [[06/01/03g]], and Abbott is awaiting a decision on the psoriatic indication from both regulators after filing the product late last year [[17/12/04f]].