An experimental drug called ustekinumab made by Johnson
& Johnson has proved safe and effective in prevent psoriasis progression
for one year or more in two trials.
The first study involved 1, 766 patients and lasted for
76 weeks. Each patient was given either 45-milligram or 90-milligram injections
of the drug at the start of the trial and again on week 4 and then one dose
every 12 weeks. Another group received a placebo injection.
"Onset of efficacy was rapid, with higher
proportions of ustekinumab-treated patients achieving at least 50 percent
improvement" researchers said.
In the second trial 1,230 patients were tested for 52
weeks. In 28 weeks, researchers found that 23 percent of patients in the
low-dose drug group and 16 percent in the high-dose group had a 75 percent
reduction in symptoms.
Both studies appear
in The Lancet.