AbbVie’s plaque psoriasis drug, Skyrizi (risankizumab), has received a Technology Appraisal Guidance (TAG) from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The approval means that eligible patients in England and Wales with plaque psoriasis who have failed conventional systemic therapies will have access to the drug almost two months earlier than would have been the case via other NICE assessment routes. The TAG represents the completion of the final step of NICE assessment and cuts down the implementation time from 90 days to 30 days.

The organisation recommended the AbbVie drug for NHS use back in July, just months after it was approved by both the European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The European Commission approved the interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy, based on results from four Phase III studies, ultIMMa-1, ultIMMa-2, IMMvent and IMMhance which evaluated more than 2,000 patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and found high rates of skin clearance with Skyrizi at 16 weeks.

In the trial after the 16 weeks of treatment, 88% of the ultIMMa-1 trial and 84% of the ultIMMa-2 trial achieved ‘clear or almost clear’ on the Physician Global Assessment (sPGA) score.

The drug is part of a collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and AbbVie, with AbbVie leading development and commercialisation globally.

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition affecting an estimated 820,000 people in the UK and many patients still do not reach treatment goals or lose treatment response over time.