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AAD: Ustekinumab Cuts Vascular Inflammation in Psoriasis

Reduction in total aortic vascular inflammation with ustekinumab versus increase with placebo

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Ustekinumab improves psoriasis and reduces vascular inflammation among patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from Feb. 16 to 20 in San Diego.

Joel M. Gelfand, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the effect of ustekinumab versus placebo on vascular inflammation in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. A total of 43 patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to ustekinumab or placebo for 12 weeks; 41 patients completed the trial. The primary outcome was aortic inflammation, measured by target-to-background ratio (TBR) on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography scans obtained at weeks 0 and 12.

The researchers found that a 75 percent reduction of the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index was achieved by 77 and 11 percent of patients treated with ustekinumab and placebo, respectively, at week 12. At baseline, total aortic vascular inflammation was an average TBR of 1.31 ± 0.15, and was reduced by 6.6 percent in the ustekinumab group and increased by 12.1 percent in the placebo group at week 12.

“This is the first placebo-controlled trial of a biologic drug to show a benefit in aortic inflammation, a key marker of cardiovascular disease,” Gelfand said in a statement. “The effect is similar to what we would expect if we put the patient on a statin.”

Gelfand disclosed financial ties to Janssen Biologics, which is owned by Janssen Scientific Affairs, which manufactures ustekinumab.

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