Ixekizumab is recommended as an option for treating severe plaque psoriasis, as defined by a total Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) of 10 or more and a Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) of more than 10, when the disease has not responded to standard systemic therapies, or these treatments are contraindicated or the person cannot tolerate them.
As is the case for secukinumab (Cosentyx), NICE approval requires the company to provide the drug with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.
NICE states that ixekizumab treatment should be stopped at 12 weeks if the psoriasis has not responded adequately (defined as a 75% reduction in the PASI score or a 50% reduction in the PASI score and a 5-point reduction in DLQI from baseline).
Earlier this month the Scottish Medicines Consortium accepted ixekizumab for use within NHS Scotland to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in patients who have failed to respond to standard systemic therapies (including ciclosporin, methotrexate and phototherapy), are intolerant to, or have a contraindication to these treatments.
Ixekizumab is licensed for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy. It targets interleukin-17A, a cytokine that contributes to the pathogenesis of psoriasis by promoting keratinocyte proliferation and activation.