Biologics: The game changer of psoriasis treatment

Researchers continue to seek new, more effective treatments for psoriasis to help the more than 7.5 million Americans suffering from it. The session “Psoriasis” (S016) will review existing treatments and update you on emerging therapies for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

“In the last 10 to 15 years, many new biologic agents have been developed that target specific cytokines or molecules involved in pathogenesis of psoriasis,” said Erin E. Boh, MD, PhD, one of the session directors. “Not only has this provided insights into the pathogenesis/understanding of psoriasis, it has provided us with a number of new drugs that treat psoriasis effectively.”

Dr. Boh said the research community has made great progress in recent years, and the rise of biologics has made its mark in the treatment of psoriasis.

“We have now discovered that the driving force for maintenance of psoriasis is IL-17. New agents have been developed that block this agent. As a consequence, plaques improve or disappear. There are now several different agents that block at the same locus,” she said. “The pathogenesis has been studied over the last 15 years, and now we feel we have an idea of the cells involved in psoriasis. We have drugs now that block the cytokine, some that block the receptor, and some that block activation/proliferation of Th17.”

In addition to covering IL-17 inhibitors, speakers will discuss other drugs used in treatments, including TNF inhibitors, IL-12/23 inhibitors, and new drugs in the pipeline that block IL-23. Other topics include psoriatic arthritis and comorbidities associated with psoriasis. Dr. Boh said it’s important to know the comorbidities, because some of the new drugs can improve them, while others can worsen them.

“The doctor needs to know this when choosing the right medication for each patient,” she said.

This session will be held from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Sunday, July 29, in Regency Ballroom AB.