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Ixekizumab FDA-Approved for Patients with Plaque Psoriasis

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Taltz (ixekizumab) to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes patches of skin redness and flaking. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs more commonly in patients with a family history of the disease, and most often begins in people between the ages of 15 and 35. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, in which patients develop thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white scales.

“Today’s approval provides patients suffering from plaque psoriasis with another important treatment option to help relieve the skin irritation and discomfort from the condition,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Taltz’s active ingredient is an antibody (ixekizumab) that binds to a protein (interleukin (IL)-17A) that causes inflammation. By binding to the protein, ixekizumab is able to inhibit the inflammatory response that plays a role in the development of plaque psoriasis.

Taltz is administered as an injection. It is intended for patients who are candidates for systemic therapy (treatment using substances that travel through the bloodstream, after being taken by mouth or injected), phototherapy (ultraviolet light treatment) or a combination of both. 

Taltz’s safety and efficacy were established in three randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials with a total of 3,866 participants with plaque psoriasis who were candidates for systemic or phototherapy therapy. The results showed that Taltz achieved greater clinical response than placebo, with skin that was clear or almost clear, as assessed by scoring of the extent, nature and severity of psoriatic changes of the skin.

Because Taltz is a medicine that affects the immune system, it is being approved with a Medication Guide to inform patients that they may have a greater risk of an infection, or an allergic or autoimmune condition. Serious allergic reactions and development or worsening of inflammatory bowel disease have been reported with the use of Taltz. Monitor patients closely for these conditions. The most common side effects include upper respiratory infections, injection site reactions and fungal (tinea) infections.

Taltz is marketed by Indianapolis, Indiana-based Eli Lilly and Company.

US Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves new psoriasis drug Taltz. Updated March 23, 2016.

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