Austrian researchers working with an international team were able to successfully eliminate the symptoms of the skin disease psoriasis from a group of study subjects, and the results of their study have been reported in the journal Nature.
Psoriasis, a non-contagious inflammatory skin disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s tissue, involves Interleukin-23 (IL-23), a messenger of the immune system that also plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.
A team involving researchers from the Juvenis Medical Center in Vienna as well as from the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna tested whether administering an antibody that neutralizes IL-23 also helps against psoriasis.
For the first phase of the clinical trials, researchers injected 77 patients suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of psoriasis with either various amounts of the antibody Tildrakizumab, or a placebo.
“Even low doses of the antibody had a much better effect than the placebo,” dermatologist Christine Bangert told the Austrian Press Agency (APA) in an interview Monday. She added that with high doses it even led to patients being 100 percent free of symptoms.
The team said the antibody was also well-tolerated, even when the highest doses were used. Additionally, the study shows how significant IL-23 is in the formation and development of psoriasis and reveals a promising future treatment for the condition.
Bangert said phase II trials have also been completed and phase III trials, the final clinical trials, are under way.