Brand Name: Taltz
Generic Name: ixekizumab
Medication Class: Human interleukin antagonist
Similar Drugs: ustekinumab (Stelara), secukinumab (Cosentyx)
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly and Company
FDA Approval date: March 2016
What is Taltz and how does it work?
Taltz is an interleukin-17A (IL-17A) antibody used for treating plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition where scaly red and white patches develop on the skin. It occurs when the body’s immune system sends false signals to skin cells to grow and multiply faster than normal. People with psoriasis can develop psoriatic arthritis, which also includes inflammation of joints. Interleukins are a group of molecules that are released by white blood cells (leucocytes) during various immune responses. The IL-17 family is released by one of the white blood cells called T helper 17 cells, and targets epithelium and endothelium (the linings of skin) during an inflammatory response. Psoriatic plaques have elevated levels of IL-17A. Taltz selectively binds to IL-17A and blocks it from binding to its receptor to start the inflammatory process that contributes to the development of psoriasis. Taltz reduces the symptoms of psoriasis.
What is Taltz used for treating?
Taltz is used for treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy (medicine absorbed into the blood stream) or phototherapy (ultraviolet light treatment).
How effective is Taltz?
The FDA approved Taltz based on 3 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that demonstrated safety and efficacy of Taltz in patients 18 years of age and older with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. All patients had a baseline Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score ranging from 17 to 18. The PASI score includes the percentage of body surface area affected and the nature and severity of psoriatic changes (induration, erythema, and scaling) within the affected regions.
In all three trials, 87-90% of patients achieved a PASI score of 75, and 81-83% of patients achieved sPGA of 0 or 1. About 70% patients achieved clear skin, and about 38% of patients achieved complete resolution of their psoriasis.
Interesting facts about Taltz
Two clinical studies showed Taltz to be superior to etanercept (Enbrel), an FDA-approved drug for treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.
Two clinical studies demonstrated that 75% of patients maintained their response 60 weeks after treatment with Taltz.
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