From the Journals

Meta-analysis provides safety data on IL-17, IL-23 inhibitors



Interleukin-17 and IL-23 inhibitors were safe and well-tolerated in most patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis during treatment for up to 52 weeks, according to the results of a meta-analysis of 44 studies.

While associated with more adverse events than with placebo, IL-17 and IL-23 inhibitors are “generally well-tolerated and considered safe,” but the extent of adverse events and the existence of a possible drug class effect “have not been fully investigated,” wrote Nikolai D. Loft, MD, of the department of dermatology and allergy at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues.

In a study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the researchers identified phase 3 studies with data on adverse event reports in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis who were treated with either IL-17 inhibitors (brodalumab, ixekizumab, or secukinumab) or IL-23 inhibitors (guselkumab, risankizumab, or tildrakizumab).

Overall, across all treatments, the proportion of patients with reports of any adverse events ranged from 0.49 to 0.57 in short-term studies (12-16 weeks) and from 0.83 to 0.93 with long-term treatment (52 weeks). In a pooled analysis, the proportion of patients with any adverse events was 0.57, 0.52, 0.72, and 0.81, at 12, 16, 24, and 52 weeks, respectively.

The most common adverse events across all treatments were infections, nasopharyngitis, and headaches. Among those on ixekizumab, injection-site reactions was one of the most common adverse events reported, in nearly 16% of patients after 52 weeks of treatment, the authors noted.

Fewer adverse events were reported in patients on IL-23 inhibitors, compared with those on IL-17 inhibitors. The proportion of patients reporting serious adverse events was “low,” the researchers wrote. Patients on tildrakizumab had the lowest proportion of any adverse events overall, based on short-term data over 12-16 weeks.

No significant differences emerged in reported adverse events across IL-17 inhibitors after 52 weeks.

Other findings included a higher prevalence of Candida infections among those treated with IL-17 inhibitors after 12-16 weeks and 24 weeks, compared with those on placebo, but the infections, described as mild to moderate, did not result in drug discontinuation, the authors noted. The potential risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) associated with IL-17 inhibitors has been raised as a concern, but in their analysis, “IBD was very rare and after 12 weeks no difference between active treatments and placebo was seen.”

The study findings were limited by several factors, including incomplete data for interdrug comparison, varying time points for safety measures, differences in dosing in clinical trials than the approved dosing, and lack of longer-term follow-up data for most of the treatments, the researchers noted. However, the analysis was strengthened by the inclusion of phase 3 studies with both short-and long-term data, and “overall, IL-17 and IL-23 inhibitors appear to be well-tolerated with good safety profiles.”

Dr. Loft disclosed serving as an honorary speaker for Eli Lilly; other coauthors disclosed relationships with multiple companies; two authors reported no conflicts of interest. There were no funding sources for the study listed.

SOURCE: Loft ND et al. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2019 Nov 13. doi: 10.1111/jdv.16073.

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