Having got the green light from US regulators last month, Celgene Corp has presented quality of life data on its oral psoriasis drug Otezla.

New analysis of the ESTEEM 2 trial, presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology congress in Amsterdam, demonstrated that more than 70% of patients who received treatment with Otezla (apremilast) twice-daily after 16 weeks achieved clinically meaningful improvement when rated by the Dermatology Quality of Life Index.

Pooled analyses of ESTEEM 1 and 2 from 1,250 patients was also presented, showing that Otezla significantly increased work productivity and improved work limitations compared with placebo at week 16. Other data, from ESTEEM 2, demonstrated that the phosphodieasterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor significantly improved psoriasis in difficult-to-treat areas such as the palms of the hands and feet, nails and scalp.

Otezla is competing with the injectable tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, notably AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab) and Pfizer/Amgen's Enbrel (etanercept). Many observers believe the fact that it does not require routine lab monitoring is a significant plus, while Lluis Puig of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, speaking at an event outside EADV, said oral treatments could be a better long-term option.