*The translation of this article in French and Portuguese has been made through machine translation and has not been edited yet. we apologise for any inaccuracies.
In 2022, the field of dermatology saw exciting progress in the treatment of psoriasis. Whilst existing treatments for psoriasis are available, researchers are continuously exploring new drugs and options to improve patient outcomes. Last year, researchers made significant progress in the development of new psoriasis treatments, with the FDA approving four new treatments: Deucravacitinib, Tapinarof, Roflumilast and Spesolimab .
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 100 million people worldwide suffer from psoriasis, representing 2-3% of the global population. However, this number is likely to be much higher, as 81% of countries do not have epidemiological data on psoriasis.* Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that the prevalence of psoriasis may be increasing.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes an itchy, scaly rash , most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp. Symptoms can vary in severity and may come and go in cycles, with flare ups lasting for weeks or months followed by periods of remission. Patients with psoriasis are also at increased risk of developing other conditions and may experience social stigma, which can have a negative impact on their mental health.
Psoriasis complications and comorbidities include:*
- Psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in and around the joints
- Temporary skin colour changes where plaques have healed
- Eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and uveitis
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Other autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease, sclerosis and the inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
- Mental health conditions, such as low self-esteem and depression
Whilst there is currently no cure for psoriasis and the cause of the disease is still unknown, treatments are available that can help improve symptoms and reduce the progression of the condition. Treatment of psoriasis focuses on controlling symptoms, often with help of a combination of therapies such as topical, systemic, and phototherapy. Treatment is usually lifelong and is aimed at bringing symptoms into remission. Research into the cause of the skin disease and new psoriasis treatment options has accelerated in recent years.
In 2014, WHO officially recognised psoriasis as a serious global public health issue. As a result, more efforts are being made to help policymakers develop solutions to improve healthcare and social inclusion of people living with psoriasis and to reduce social stigma by raising awareness about the burdens associated with psoriasis. The 67th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHA67.9 resolution) acknowledged that “too many people suffer needlessly from psoriasis due to incorrect or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment options, and insufficient access to care”.*
Four New FDA- Approved Psoriasis Treatments in 2022
In 2022, dermatologists saw major breakthroughs in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic disorders, with four new FDA-approved drugs added to the existing list of more than 20 FDA-Approved Drugs for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Disorders.
1. Deucravacitinib tablets – Systemic psoriasis treatment
Deucravacitinib is the first oral treatment for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults. The selective medicine helps patients get clearer skin, and some researchers and dermatologists believe it may become the new standard of oral treatment for plaque psoriasis, offering a great option for those dissatisfied with topical and conventional treatments.*
Deucravacitinib is a selective allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor. It works by selectively inhibiting the TYK2 protein, which is found in immune cells and is thought to be central to the cause of psoriasis. However, there are side effects, and the precise mechanisms linking the inhibition of the TYK2 enzyme to therapeutic effectiveness in psoriasis treatment are still unknown.
2. Tapinarof cream 1% – Topical psoriasis treatment
Tapinarof cream 1% is the first steroid-free cream for plaque psoriasis. It is an aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist that has been clinically proven to effectively induce remission and is safe for long-term use in adults with mild, moderate, and severe plaque psoriasis.
The cream helps reduce the activity of cells in the skin that cause inflammation and boosts the body’s antioxidant activity to reduce oxidative stress in the skin. Possible side effects include headache, folliculitis, and nasopharyngitis.
3. Roflumilast cream 3% – Topical psoriasis treatment
Roflumilast is a steroid-free cream for plaque psoriasis, including intertriginous areas, approved for use in patients 12 years and above. It is a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor and helps to clear plaques on the skin and reduce itching in affected areas . Side effects include diarrhoea, headache, and insomnia.
4. Spesolimab-sbzo injections – Systemic psoriasis treatment
Spesolimab-sbzo injection is the first major treatment for adults with generalised pustular psoriasis (GPP) flares . It is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-36 (IL-36) signalling, a main contributor of GPP, a rare, life-long, and potentially life-threatening skin disease. Injections of this drug can help patients’ clear pustules within days, potentially improving their quality of life. Side-effects may include fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting.
For more information on clinical trial results and side-effects, visit WCG CenterWatch.
Research is ongoing, and there are promising new treatments for psoriasis in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond. These could be of great benefit to dermatologists and their patients.
It is highly probable that future psoriasis treatment advancements will focus more heavily on targeting specific patient phenotypes, given the wide array of systemic and topical treatment options that are available today. With medical research constantly evolving, the area of genetic testing could be a particularly important area of focus in the years to come. This could lead to more advanced treatments that are tailored to each individual patient’s genetic makeup, allowing for a more personalised and effective approach to treatment. With this in mind, the future of psoriasis treatment is bright, and significant advances are likely to be made in the near future.
Do you agree? Share your opinion on these four advancements in psoriasis treatments by leaving a comment in the section below or connect with us on LinkedIn.
Forthcoming Dermatology Treatments
Psoriasis is not the only skin disease that has been getting a lot of attention lately. There have been major developments in other areas of dermatology too, such as acne, atopic dermatitis, and epidermolysis bullosa.
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and dermatologists treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. With the rapid pace of new research, clinical trials, and FDA-approved treatments in dermatology, the demand for expert opinions in market research for dermatologists is increasing. The dermatology market is projected to reach $64 billion by 2027, which a compound annual growth rate of 12.9%.
Are you curious about the latest and upcoming dermatology treatments? Share your expert opinions by participating in paid market research studies for dermatologists. Log in to your M3 Account and check out your personal dashboard to get started.
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