May 18, 2024

Early Effects of Psoriasis Drug Explored to Enhance Personalized Treatment Approaches

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, academic researchers from King’s College London have delved into the initial impacts of an immunosuppressant drug, potentially paving the way for tailored treatment strategies for psoriasis patients.

Psoriasis, a chronic skin condition affecting 1 to 2 million people in the U.K., can manifest in individuals from their early teens and persist for a lifetime. While the condition is incurable, it can progress to severe levels, significantly impacting the quality of life for those affected by it.

Individuals with severe psoriasis often rely on immunosuppressant medications such as biologics, which target specific proteins in the body. However, the use of these drugs can pose risks of increased susceptibility to infections. Some patients also question the necessity of continuing treatment once their psoriasis symptoms have subsided, highlighted by a trend of discontinuing medication observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in exacerbated psoriasis flares.

Professor Francesca Capon, an expert in immunogenomics at King’s College London, noted the efficacy of biologics targeting the inflammatory protein IL-23 but emphasized the need to comprehend the skin’s response in individuals undergoing treatment.

The researchers conducted an analysis on the early effects of the IL-23 inhibitor risankizumab on the skin of patients with severe psoriasis. Skin samples from five individuals were collected at the start of treatment, followed by assessments after three days and two weeks post-administration of the drug. Utilizing single-cell sequencing, over 160,000 skin cells were characterized in the study.

The findings revealed a reduction in inflammation within fibroblasts, a type of skin cell, within just three days of initiating treatment. Tracking cells like fibroblasts could aid clinicians in gauging a patient’s response to the treatment, potentially allowing for dosage adjustments.

Dr. Satveer Mahil, a reader at King’s College London and Consultant Dermatologist at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, emphasized the significance of patients’ contributions to the study in elucidating early skin changes influenced by the drug. Dr. Mahil also highlighted the promising role of single-cell technologies in comprehending drug effects and enhancing outcomes for individuals battling psoriasis.

The novel insights provided by this research shed light on the sequential changes occurring in the skin following the administration of psoriasis medications, offering a pathway towards more personalized and effective treatment interventions for patients grappling with this debilitating skin condition.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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