XBiotech has completed a multicenter, phase II study of its True Human™ therapeutic antibody bermekimab in subjects with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Internationally recognized expert in dermatology research, Johann Gudjonsson MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan, headed the study.

Therapeutic Opportunity

Psoriasis, an inflammatory disease that primarily involves the skin, and secondarily the joints, affects about 2-3 percent of the population in the USA. Disease severity can vary substantially among individuals, from thin plaques involving limited areas, to thick lesions over large areas of the body. Treatments such as topical corticosteroids, topical vitamin D analogs, and emollients are used to treat mild disease. Light-based therapies, oral medications with anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive medications can be used to treat more severe cases.

Previous Treatments and Shortcomings

  • Only 4 approved biological therapies: etanercept, infliximab, adulimumab, and ustekinumab
  • Often have serious side effects
  • Lose effectiveness over time
  • Costly

Anti-IL-1α Antibody Therapy

IL-1α has been identified as a key mediator of sterile inflammation and is abundantly present in psoriatic skin lesions. Excess IL-1α promotes the production of adhesion molecules and release of chemokines, which lead to infiltration of the tissues by white blood cells. This cycle of inflammation and infiltration by white blood cells likely plays a significant role in the chronic inflammatory component of psoriasis.

XBiotech's antibody directed against IL-1α has been found to be not only effective in treating psoriasis, but could be safer and better tolerated than the existing front line therapies for the disease. bermekimab therapy is potent and fast-acting, offering the potential for an important and novel treatment option for the disease.

Relevant Publication