Conference Coverage

Guselkumab tops adalimumab for psychiatric comorbidities in psoriasis

 

Key clinical point: Clinically significant anxiety and depression are common comorbidities in psoriasis, and the more effective the psoriasis therapy is at improving skin, the greater the improvement in psychiatric symptoms.

Major finding: Fifty-nine percent of gesulkumab-treated patients with moderate to severe psoriasis and clinically significant depression at baseline were below the depression threshold at week 24, compared with 46% of adalimumab-treated patients.

Data source: A phase 3, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled comparison of guselkumab and adalimumab in 992 randomized patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

Disclosures: VOYAGE 2 was sponsored by Janssen, which markets guselkumab. The presenter reported receiving research support from and serving as a consultant to Janssen and numerous other pharmaceutical companies.


 

AT THE EADV CONGRESS

 

– Guselkumab for treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis generated significantly greater improvement in comorbid anxiety and depression than adalimumab in the head-to-head VOYAGE 2 randomized trial, Kenneth B. Gordon, MD, reported at the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The population enrolled in VOYAGE 2, which did not preselect to enrich the study population for anxiety and depression, reflected how common these mental health problems are among psoriasis patients. Fully 38.6% of the 992 randomized patients had a baseline Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score-Anxiety (HADS-A) of 8 or more (considered clinically important anxiety) on the 0-21 scale, and 27.7% had a HADS-D score of at least 8 (indicative of clinically meaningful depression), noted Dr. Gordon, professor and chair of dermatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The on-treatment reductions in psychiatric symptoms in VOYAGE 2 correlated closely with greater improvement in psoriasis, he added. For example, regardless of which drug they were on, patients with a baseline HADS-D of 8 or more averaged a 3.6-point reduction in HADS-D at week 24 if, at that point, they had a Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) response of 75-89, a 4.0-point improvement if they had a PASI 90-99 response, and a 5.2-point reduction in HADS-D if they had a PASI 100 response.

VOYAGE 2 was a phase 3, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled comparison of guselkumab (Tremfya), a human monoclonal antibody targeting the interleukin-23 p 19 subunit, and the tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitor adalimumab (Humira) in their standard dosing. Participants were randomized 2:1:1 to guselkumab, adalimumab, or placebo. The study’s primary outcomes have previously been reported (J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Mar;76[3]:418-31). For example, at week 24 the guselkumab group demonstrated PASI 75, 90, and 100 responses of 89.1%, 75.2%, and 44.2%, respectively, compared with adalimumab, with PASI 75, 90, and 100 responses of 71%, 54.8%, and 26.6%.

Serial measurement of anxiety and depression symptoms using the HADS-A and HADS-D were part of the study protocol. The mean baseline HADS-A and HADS-D scores were 6.8 and 5.3. At week 24, the mean reduction in the HADS-A score was 2.0 points in the guselkumab group, compared with 1.0 point in the adalimumab arm. HADS-D scores improved by 1.7 and 1.1 points, respectively, in the overall guselkumab and adalimumab groups.

More importantly, among patients with a baseline HADS-A of 8 or higher, by week 16 of the trial, the HADS-A score had dropped below 8 in 51.4% of those on guselkumab, compared with 44.9% of patients on adalimumab and 25.9% on placebo, Dr. Gordon reported. Similarly, 59.2% of guselkumab-treated patients with a high baseline HADS-D improved to a score below 8 at week 16, compared with 54.3% on adalimumab and 27% on placebo.

At week 24, 58.4% of guselkumab-treated patients with a high baseline HADS-A and 59.4% of those with a high HADS-D had scores below 8. Again, these responses were significantly better than the 42.9% and 46.4% rates, respectively, in the adalimumab arm.

VOYAGE 2 was sponsored by Janssen, which markets guselkumab, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July 2017 for treating adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. Dr. Gordon reported receiving research support from and serving as a consultant to Janssen and numerous other pharmaceutical companies.
 

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