Unmet needs in the treatment of psoriasis

Knud Kragballe*, Peter C.M. Van De Kerkhof, Kenneth B. Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Biologics have greatly improved the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, as most patients are now able to achieve an initial improvement of 75% in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index. However, only ∼20%-57% reach a 90% improvement in this measurement and responses may be lost over time. In addition, there are potential safety issues as TNF-inhibitor biologics have been associated with infections or non-melanoma skin malignancies. Here we review unmet needs with current therapies for psoriasis. We researched the medical literature to discuss new therapies in development and assess their potential to meet these needs. Several new classes of anti-psoriatic drugs are currently undergoing clinical development and potential improvements with these new therapies include attaining earlier and higher-level responses that are durable, more specific targeting of cytokines involved directly in psoriatic inflammation, and new therapies offering convenient administration. Additionally, based on results from clinical trials evaluating these new agents, it may be possible to find predictive markers that identify patients best treated with certain drug classes, those prone to lose treatment responses and patients who can discontinue treatment and remain in remission. It remains to be determined whether the promising results seen in early studies of therapies in development for psoriasis will translate into actual improvements over currently available treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-532
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Biologics
  • Interleukin-17 blockers
  • Interleukin-23 blockers
  • Psoriasis
  • Psoriasis Area and Severity Index
  • Secukinumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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