FDA Approves Oral TYK2 Inhibitor Deucravacitinib for Treating Psoriasis

Heidi Splete

September 12, 2022

Deucravacitinib, an oral, selective tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, the manufacturer announced on September 9.

Deucravacitinib targets TYK2, which inhibits signaling of interleukin-23, interleukin-12, and type 1 interferons, key cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of multiple immune-mediated diseases, according to Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). This is the first approval for deucravacitinib, which will be marketed as Sotyktu, and the first drug in this class to be approved.

It is also currently under review for the same indication in Europe and Japan, and elsewhere, and for treating pustular psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis in Japan.

FDA approval was based on the results of the POETYK PSO-1 and POETYK PSO-2, phase 3 trials of almost 1700 adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. In these studies, treatment with once-daily deucravacitinib showed significant and clinically meaningful improvements in skin clearance and symptoms compared with placebo and with apremilast (Otezla), according to the company.

In the two studies, patients were randomly assigned to receive 6 mg daily of deucravacitinib, placebo, or a 30-mg twice-daily dose of apremilast, the oral phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor approved for psoriasis. The primary endpoints were the percentage of patients who achieved a Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) 75 response and a static Physician's Global Assessment (sPGA) score of 0 or 1 (clear or almost clear) at 16 weeks.

At 16 weeks, 58% and 53% of patients receiving deucravacitinib in the POETYK PSO-1 and POETYK PSO-2 studies, respectively, achieved PASI 75 response, compared with 13% and 9% of those receiving placebo (P < .0001 for both) and 35% and 40% receiving apremilast (P < .0001, P = .0004, respectively), according to the company's announcement of the approval. PASI 75 responses were maintained through 52 weeks among the patients who remained on treatment, in both studies, according to BMS.

In the POETYK PSO-1 and PSO-2 studies, respectively, 54% and 50% of those on deucravacitinib achieved an sPGA of 0/1 at 16 weeks, compared with 7% and 9% of those receiving placebo (P < .0001 for both) and 32% and 34% of those receiving apremilast (P < .0001 for both).

Across the two studies, at 16 weeks, the most common adverse events that affected at least 1% of patients on deucravacitinib and that occurred at higher rates than in the placebo group were upper respiratory infections (19.2%), increases in serum creatine phosphokinase (2.7%), herpes simplex (2%), mouth ulcers (1.9%), folliculitis (1.7%), and acne (1.4%). Adverse events resulting in discontinuation of treatment were reported in 2.4% of persons receiving deucravacitinib and 5.2% of those receiving apremilast, compared with 3.8% of those receiving placebo.

Up to 16 weeks, according to the BMS statement, 28% of persons receiving deucravacitinib had infections, most of which were mild to moderate and not serious and did not result in stopping treatment, compared with 22% of those receiving placebo. In addition, five patients treated with deucravacitinib and five patients receiving placebo had serious infections, and three patients receiving deucravacitinib had cancer (not including nonmelanoma skin cancer).

Deucravacitinib is also being evaluated in clinical trials for psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease. It is not recommended for use in combination with other potent immunosuppressants, according to BMS.

The prescribing information and patient medication guide are available online.

The POETYK PSO-1 and POETYK PSO-2 studies were funded by Bristol Myers Squibb.

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