Phase 3 trial results: apremilast might be a good choice for scalp psoriasis

  • Van Voorhees AS & al.
  • J Am Acad Dermatol
  • 4 Feb 2020

  • curated by Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Apremilast is associated with clinical efficacy in patients with moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, according to results from a phase 3 trial.

Why this matters

  • This patient population needs effective, well-tolerated systemic therapies.

Key results

  • Apremilast was associated with higher response rates for:
    • Scalp Physician Global Assessment (score clear/almost clear): 43.3% vs 13.7%.
    • Scalp Itch numerical rating scale (NRS), ≥4-point improvement: 47.1% vs 21.1%.
    • Whole Body Itch NRS: 45.5% vs 22.5%.
    • All P<.0001 compared with placebo.>
  • Apremilast also was associated with greater mean improvement in Dermatology Life Quality Index (−6.7 vs −3.8; P<.0001 compared with placebo.>
  • The most common adverse events in patients who received apremilast were diarrhea (30.5%), nausea (21.5%), headache (12.0%), and vomiting (5.5%).

Study design

  • 303 patients with moderate to severe scalp psoriasis were randomly assigned to receive apremilast (n=201) or placebo (n=102), with efficacy and safety outcomes assessed at 16 weeks.
  • Funding: Celgene Corporation.

Limitations

  • Short trial duration.