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Long-term efalizumab therapy for patients with moderate-to-severe, chronic plaque psoriasis: results from an Australian expanded access program

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Abstract Background 

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that can impact heavily on a patient’s well-being. Efalizumab, a unique, targeted, biological therapy, has demonstrated efficacy in treating moderate-to-severe, chronic plaque psoriasis with ≤36 months of continuous therapy. The objective of this Extended Access Program (EAP) was to evaluate further the benefit of efalizumab as long-term therapy in a real-world clinical setting. Methods 

After an initial conditioning dose of efalizumab (0.7 mg/kg subcutaneously), a weekly dose of efalizumab (1.0 mg/kg) was administered for ≤21 months. Patients with reduced Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores (≥50%, or a score ≤8) at month 3 entered the long-term maintenance treatment period. Results 

In total, 101 patients (>18 years) with severe plaque psoriasis enrolled on the EAP, of these 93 (92.1%) met all the inclusion criteria. After 3 months of treatment, 84/101 (83.2%) patients had evaluable data and entered the maintenance period. After 3 months, 57/84 (67.9%) patients had achieved PASI-50. Using an intent-to-treat analysis, after 21 months of treatment, PASI-75 and PASI-50 were achieved by 43/101 (42.6%) and 69/101 (68.3%) of patients, respectively. Efalizumab was generally well tolerated during the 21 months of continuous therapy. Conclusion 

Efalizumab, 1.0 mg/kg/week, is effective and well tolerated in a ‘real world’ clinical setting, providing enduring reduction of psoriasis symptoms for up to 21 months.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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