At UCB, we are committed to advancing the discussion, understanding, and treatment of dermatological conditions. We seek to understand and address the unmet needs of people living with chronic inflammatory skin conditions, like more effective, convenient treatment options, better access to treatment, and ultimately healthier skin.
One such condition is psoriasis, a common, chronic inflammatory disease with symptoms that mostly affect the skin, such as red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, cracked, bleeding skin, or severe itching and pitted nails. The condition has a variety of forms, though plaque psoriasis is most common, comprising approximately 80 to 90 percent of all cases. Several other serious diseases have been associated with psoriasis, including diabetes, heart disease, and psoriatic arthritis, a chronic disease that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints.
Because of its visible and physically debilitating aspects, psoriasis often takes an emotional toll on patients, causing self-consciousness, frustration, fatigue, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. As research continues to demonstrate the serious, systemic effects of psoriasis, new research approaches are now needed to improve the health and lives of psoriasis patients – and UCB continued to make headway in this regard during 2020.
In January 2020, UCB’s biologic Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol) was approved by the Japanese health authorities for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, pustular psoriasis and psoriatic erythroderma for which existing treatment methods are not sufficiently effective. The approval makes Cimzia® the first Fc-free, PEGylated anti-TNF treatment option now available for these patients in Japan.
In September, we were excited to announce that both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted marketing application submissions for bimekizumab for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, following the positive results of three Phase 3 studies. In addition, the Phase 3b study BE RADIANT compared UCB’s investigational molecule bimekizumab to secukinumab for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, and met its primary end points. These studies support the potential value of bimekizumab for rapid, complete and durable skin clearance, if approved by health authorities.
- 1 Wilson, F. C., Icen, M., Crowson, C. S., McEvoy, M. T., Gabriel, S. E., & Kremers, H. M. (2009). Incidence and clinical predictors of psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis: a population-based study. Arthritis Rheum, 61(2), 233-239. doi:10.1002/art.24172
- 2 Bhosle M. Quality of life in patients with psoriasis. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2006; 4: 35.Published online 2006 Jun 6.
- 3 https://www.ucb.com/stories-media/Press-Releases/article/CIMZIA-certolizumab-pegol-now-Available-for-Patients-in-Japan-living-with-Multiple-Psoriatic-Diseases
- 4 https://www.ucb.com/stories-media/Press-Releases/article/UCB-Achieves-Important-Regulatory-Milestone-for-Bimekizumab