The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Almirall's Ilumetri and UCB's Cimzia as a treatment options for severe plaque psoriasis in final draft guidelines.

Initially NICE rejected Illumetri for not being cost-effective, but a new negotiated price submitted by the company means that it can now be offered as an alternative for patients who are unable to take systemic non-biological treatments.

The drug was approved in September 2018 on the back of data from the Resurface I and ii trials, in which an average of 63% of patients achieved 75% of skin clearance (Psoriasis Area Sensitivity Index or PASI 75) by week 12 and an average of 78% at week 28 after three doses, before being deemed not cost-effective.

Clinical trial results show that the treatment improves severe psoriasis more than placebo or etanercept, a drug which is already recommended by NICE.

Meanwhile, UCB's Cimzia was also recommended in final draft guidance for adults with severe plaque psoriasis that has not responded to other systemic treatments such as phototherapy, methotrexate and ciclosporin, or if these treatments are not suitable.

Cimzia was cleared for use in Europe in July as the first Fc-free, PEGylated anti-TNF treatment option for use in moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

In one clinical trial, response rate for patients who achieved a PASI 75 after 12 weeks’ treatment was 66.7 percent for those receiving Cimzia 400mg every two weeks and 61.3 percent for those getting Cimzia 200mg every two weeks, compared to just 5.0 percent for patients in the placebo group.

According to NICE, clinical data show that the biologic improves severe psoriasis more than placebo and current NHS-funded treatment option etanercept. It was also found to have similar cost effectiveness estimates to other biological treatments.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition which appears as thickened red, scaly plaques. Around 102,000 to 172,000 adults have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in England.