The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has now issued guidance recommending Janssen’s Tremfya as an option for treating plaque psoriasis in adults on the NHS.

The move, which comes just days after sister body the Scottish Medicines Consortium endorsed the drug’s use on NHS Scotland, should see the drug routinely available across England and Wales within 30 days.

Tremfya (guselkumab) is the first biologic to selectively target interleukin (IL)-23, a key protein involved in the immune inflammatory response in psoriasis.

NICE’s appraisal of the drug was fast-tracked following its European approval last year, which came on the back of data showing superiority to tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor Humira (adalimumab) on skin clearance.

According to data from two Phase III trials, at just 16 weeks a PASI 90 score was recorded in 73.3 percent and 70.0 percent of patients receiving Tremfya, compared with 49.7 percent and 46.8 percent in those given Humira, respectively.

“There is still a need for new treatment options that improve long-term outcomes for patients, who so often have to deal with the psychological as well as the physical impact of this disease,” noted Jennifer Lee, Director of Health Economics, Market Access and Reimbursement (HEMAR) and Advocacy, Janssen-Cilag.

“People with plaque psoriasis may now benefit from this new option which can provide clinically meaningful improvements on their disease over the long-term.”