According to LabioTech, a psoriasis drug developed by biotechnology company Affibody showed promising results in a Phase II clinical trial (AFFIRM-35). This trial, which consisted of 108 participants with psoriasis, saw the drug candidate reducing symptoms associated with the condition, such as itchiness, scaliness, and redness, when compared to a placebo. Now, Affibody looks to develop this drug as a potential treatment for patients with uveitis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition causing red, scaly patches across the skin. Some believe it results from an immune problem which causes the skin to regenerate too quickly. Psoriasis impacts up to 5% of people, but many drugs are poorly suited for treatment as they cannot easily enter into subcutaneous tissue. Learn more about psoriasis here.
Affibody’s drug candidate ABY-035 inhibits interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a pro-inflammatory cytokine. High IL-17A expression is linked to certain types of asthma, psoriasis, rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and other autoimmune conditions. By preventing this expression, Affibody’s candidate reduces this immune overreaction.
After receiving subcutaneous injections, 17 patients receiving the 2nd high drug dosage experienced the following results:
- 88% (15 patients) saw a 90% symptom improvement within 3 months.
- 59% (10 patients) achieved, or nearly achieved, remission.
Moving forward, ABY-035 will now be studied in relation to uveitis, PsA, and axial spondyloarthritis.
PsA and Uveitis
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory arthritis that occurs in some patients with psoriasis. About 40% of patients with PsA have a family member with either psoriasis or arthritis, suggesting a hereditary cause. However, PsA can also occur after infections. The condition is characterized by joint pain and stiffness, alongside psoriasis skin lesions.
Symptoms of PsA include:
- Painful, red eyes
- Reduced motion
- Joint and tendon pain, stiffness, and inflammation
- Swollen toes and fingers
- Nail changes, such as denting, pitting, or separating from the nail bed
- Red, scaly skin
Learn more about PsA here.
Uveitis is a condition in which the uvea (middle layer of the eye) becomes inflamed. Generally, it affects people between ages 20 and 60. Subsets include:
- Iritis (anterior uveitis): as the most common form of uveitis, iritis impacts the front of the eye.
- Cyclists (intermediate uveitis): this form affects the ciliary body between the iris and choroid.
- Choroiditis (posterior uveitis): as the most uncommon form of uveitis, choroiditis affects the retina and optic nerve. Without treatment, this form can lead to permanent vision loss.
- Pan-uveitis: this form affects all 3 parts of the eye.
- Extreme eye sensitivity, redness, and pain
- Changes in vision, such as blurriness or floaters
- Vision loss
Learn more about uveitis here.