Episode 69: A Deep Dive Into IL-17 Inhibition and Bimekizumab for Psoriasis: Straight Talk with Dr Andy Blauvelt
In this episode of Derms and Conditions, Andy Blauvelt, MD, joins James Q. Del Rosso, DO, to discuss IL-17 inhibition, with a focus on bimekizumab as a treatment for psoriasis. Bimekizumab is unique for inhibiting both IL-17A and IL-17F, demonstrating higher efficacy and a favorable safety profile. Dr Blauvelt highlights the drug's mechanism of action and covers its approval process, global use, and notable data. He emphasizes its efficacy in achieving Psoriasis Area Severity Index 100 (PASI 100) clearance.
The pair discusses bimekizumab’s dosing schedule, with an induction dosing period of once a month for 16 weeks followed by maintenance dosing every 8 weeks, a unique feature compared with other IL-17 blockers. Dr Blauvelt emphasizes bimekizumab's exceptional efficacy, with rapid and sustained results, reaching close to 60% of patients achieving PASI 100 after a single dose and around 70% within a year.
The discussion includes comparisons with other IL-17 blockers, addressing the drug's suitability for different patient profiles. Safety considerations, such as oral candidiasis, are explored, with Dr Blauvelt providing insights into managing these side effects. The conversation delves into additional areas of interest, such as ongoing studies for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).
Regarding safety, they touch on topics like suicidal ideation and liver enzyme elevations. Dr Blauvelt emphasizes the importance of understanding the baseline risks associated with mental health issues in patients with psoriasis. The FDA's cautious approach is acknowledged, and Dr Blauvelt provides context, comparing bimekizumab with other biologics in terms of suicidal ideation data.
In summary, Dr Blauvelt expresses enthusiasm for bimekizumab as a new and highly effective option for patients with psoriasis, citing its remarkable efficacy and potential future indications for PsA and HS. The episode concludes with a discussion on scalp psoriasis and bimekizumab's positive impact on treating this condition.