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What are the new drugs for the treatment of plaque psoriasis?

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm Last updated on Apr 22, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

The newest drugs for the treatment of plaque psoriasis are the interleukin-23 antagonists, which are FDA approved under the brand names Skyrizi, Ilumya and Tremfya.

Interleukin-23 antagonists work by blocking interleukin-23 (IL-23), a pro-inflammatory cytokine thought to play a major role in chronic immune-mediated diseases, including plaque psoriasis.

Interleukin-23 antagonists are part of a wider group of drugs called biologics. Biologics are administered via subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion and are reserved for moderate to severe cases of psoriasis. Other biologic drugs include tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) blockers, interleukin 12 and 23 (IL-12/23) antagonists, and interleukin 17 (IL-17) antagonists.

Systemic therapies, including biologic treatments, are only used for psoriasis that has not responded to other treatments (topical treatments and phototherapy).

For more information on other psoriasis drugs, including topical treatments, see Medications for Psoriasis

New Treatments for Plaque Psoriasis - Latest FDA Approvals

Drug Administration Drug Class Patient Population Company FDA Approved for Psoriasis Psoriasis Indication Other Indications
Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0,  4, then every 12 weeks interleukin-23 antagonist adults AbbVie Inc. 23-Apr-2019
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • none
Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) subcutaneous injection every 2 weeks tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker adults UCB, Inc. 24-May-2018
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
Ilumya (tildrakizumab-asmn) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0, 4, then every 12 weeks interleukin-23 antagonist adults Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. 20-Mar-2018
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • none
Tremfya (guselkumab) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0, 4, then every 8 weeks interleukin-23 antagonist adults Janssen Biotech, Inc. 13-Jul-2017
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • none
Siliq (brodalumab) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0, 1, and 2, then every 2 weeks interleukin-17A antagonist adults Bausch Health Companies Inc. 15-Feb-2017
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in patients who have failed to respond or have lost response to other systemic therapies
  • none
Taltz (ixekizumab) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, then every 4 weeks interleukin-17A antagonist adults and children 6 years and older Eli Lilly and Company 22-Mar-2016
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
Cosentyx (secukinumab) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, then every 4 weeks interleukin-17A antagonist adults Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation 21-Jan-2015
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
Otezla (apremilast) oral tablets twice daily phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor adults Celgene Corporation 23-Sep-2014
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease
Stelara (ustekinumab) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0 and 4, then every
12 weeks
interleukin-12 and -23 antagonist adults and children 12 years and older Janssen Biotech, Inc. 25-Sep-2009
  • moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • ulcerative colitis
Humira (adalimumab) subcutaneous injection at weeks 0 and 1, then every 2 weeks tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker adults AbbVie Inc. 18-Jan-2008
  • moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis when other systemic therapies are medically less appropriate
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • hidradenitis suppurativa
  • uveitis
Remicade (infliximab) intravenous infusion at weeks 0, 2 and 6, then every 8 weeks tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker adults Janssen Biotech, Inc. 26-Sep-2006
  • chronic severe plaque psoriasis when other systemic therapies are medically less appropriate
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
Enbrel (etanercept) Adults: subcutaneous injection twice weekly for 3 months then once weekly
Children: subcutaneous injection once weekly
tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker adults and children 4 years and older Amgen Inc. 30-Apr-2004
  • chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis

The biosimilars for the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers HumiraRemicade, and Enbrel are also FDA approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis:

Humira (adalimumab) Biosimilars

Remicade (infliximab) Biosimilars

Enbrel (etanercept) Biosimilars

For more information, see Psoriasis: Treatment Options to Manage Your Symptoms & Skin

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