Bimekizumab Approved in Europe for Psoriasis Treatment

Heidi Splete

August 25, 2021

Bimekizumab has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults, according to a statement from the manufacturer.

Bimekizumab (Bimzelx), a humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody, is the first approved treatment for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that selectively inhibits interleukin (IL)–17A and IL-17F, the statement from UCB said.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a decision on approval of bimekizumab for treating psoriasis on Oct. 15.Approval in the EU was based on data from three phase 3 trials including a total of 1,480 adult patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, which found that those treated with bimekizumab experienced significantly greater skin clearance, compared with placebo, ustekinumab, and adalimumab, with a favorable safety profile, according to the company.

In all three studies (BE VIVID, BE READY, and BE SURE), more than 80% of patients treated with bimekizumab showed improved skin clearance after 16 weeks, significantly more than those treated with ustekinumab, placebo, or adalimumab, based on an improvement of at least 90% in the Psoriasis Area & Severity Index (PASI 90) and an Investigator's Global Assessment (IGA) response of clear or almost clear skin (IGA 0/1). In all three studies, these clinical responses persisted after 1 year.

The recommended dose of bimekizumab is 320 mg, given in two subcutaneous injections every 4 weeks to week 16, then every 8 weeks. However, for “some patients” weighing 120 kg or more who do not achieve complete who have not achieved complete skin clearance at 16 weeks, 320 mg every 4 weeks after that time may improve response to treatment, according to the company statement.

The most common treatment-related adverse events in the studies were upper respiratory tract infections (a majority of which were nasopharyngitis), reported by 14.5% of patients, followed by oral candidiasis, reported by 7.3%.

Results of BE READY and BE VIVID were published in The Lancet. Results of the BE SURE study were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Bimekizumab is contraindicated for individuals with clinically important active infections such as tuberculosis, and for individuals with any hypersensitivity to the active substance. More details on bimekizumab are available on the website of the European Medicines Agency.

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