News from the FDA/CDC

FDA approves ixekizumab for pediatric plaque psoriasis


The Food and Drug Administration has approved ixekizumab for treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in patients aged 6-17 years, according to an announcement from Lilly.

FDA icon

Patients need to be candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy and have no known hypersensitivity to the biologic.

The safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the interleukin-17a antagonist were demonstrated in a phase 3 study that included 171 patients aged 6-17 years with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. At 12 weeks, 89% those on ixekizumab achieved a 75% improvement on Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score, compared with 25% of those on placebo, and 81% achieved a static Physician’s Global Assessment of clear or almost clear, compared with 11% of those on placebo, according to the Lilly statement.

The safety profile seen with ixekizumab (Taltz) among the pediatric patients with plaque psoriasis is consistent with what has been observed among adult patients, although there were higher rates of conjunctivitis, influenza, and urticaria among the pediatric patients, the statement noted. The biologic may increase the risk of infection, and patients should be evaluated for tuberculosis, hypersensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also recommended that routine immunizations be completed before initiating treatment.

Ixekizumab was initially approved for treating adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in 2016, followed by approvals for treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis in 2017, and for adults with ankylosing spondylitis in August 2019.

The biologic therapies – etanercept, a tumor necrosis factor blocker, and ustekinumab (Stelara), an IL-12/23 antagonist – were previously approved by the FDA for pediatric psoriasis, in children ages 4 years and older and 12 years and older, respectively.

Updated prescribing information for ixekizumab can be found on the Lilly website.

[email protected]

Next Article: