Janssen has unveiled new data showing consistent rates of skin clearance with guselkumab treatment among patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

According to longer-term findings from the Phase III VOYAGE 1 study, at week 100 more than 80 percent of patients receiving the drug, including those initially treated with placebo or the anti-TNF alpha agent adalimumab, achieved at least a 90 percent improvement in the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI 90), or near complete skin clearance Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) score of cleared (0) or minimal disease (1).

Guselkumab is a human monoclonal antibody that targets the protein interleukin (IL)-23, which is known to play a key role in the development of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

The data show the rates of skin clearance with the drug were consistent at weeks 52 and 100 with every eight-week maintenance therapy, contributing to the scientific evidence for targeting IL-23 in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, noted Professor Chris Griffiths, foundation Professor of Dermatology at the University of Manchester, UK, VOYAGE 1 study steering committee member.

“Also noteworthy is that skin clearance rates in patients transitioned to guselkumab from adalimumab improved and the rates were consistent at weeks 52 and 100,” he added.

Around 14 million people in Europe suffer from psoriasis, a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory disorder that results in the overproduction of skin cells, characterised by raised, inflamed, scaly, red lesions, or plaques, which can cause itching, discomfort and pain. Moderate to severe forms of the disease account for around 20 percent of all cases.

The findings were presented in a late-breaker session at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (EADV) Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, and follow a positive recommendation by the European Medicines Agency’s CHMP for approval of guselkumab to treat severe plaque psoriasis.