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The drug Enbrel offers new hope to suffers of a skin condition associated with inflammatory arthritis, research has shown.
Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects both the skin and joints.
A study presented at the Royal College of Physicians’ Gene to Clinic meeting in London showed that after taking the drug, two out of three patients with psoriatic arthritis showed a 75% improvement in the condition of their skin.
Professor Wolfram Sterry, study investigator and director of the clinic for Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology at the Charite Berlin, Germany, said: “Up to 40% of psoriasis patients will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis and therefore dermatologists are in an ideal position to screen for psoriatic arthritis and provide early therapeutic intervention or referral in order to prevent disease progression.”
The results of the study demonstrated that 50mg of Enbrel taken once a week or twice a week provided improved skin symptoms, which continued to improve over time. In particular, after 24 weeks, over two thirds (70%) of patients taking Enbrel twice-weekly for 12 weeks followed by once-weekly doses for 12 weeks showed a 75% improvement in the psoriasis area-and-severity index (PASI 75).
In addition, approximately three out of four patients (72%-77%) taking Enbrel showed joint improvement, as measured by the Psoriatic Arthritis Response Criteria (PsARC), at only 12 weeks and maintained this improvement at 24 weeks.
Copyright Press Association 2008