UCB wins permit to market psoriasis drug in Japan

UCB wins permit to market psoriasis drug in Japan
Plaque psoriasis, the most common type treated with the new drug. © James Hellman MD/Wikimedia

Belgian pharmaceuticals company UCB has been given permission to market its treatment for psoriasis, Bimzelx (bimekizumab) in Japan, the company announced today.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that mainly affects the skin. There are different types, but the drug has principally been developed to treat plaque psoriasis, which affects some 58-97% of all sufferers.

The condition is characterised by dry red patches covered in white or silvery scales.

Bimzelx is also used in the treatment of pustular psoriasis, which as the name suggests is accompanied with pustules filled with pus, which is nonetheless non-infection. That condition affects 11-12% of psoriasis sufferers.

Finally, psoriatic erythroderma is the most serious type of the condition, producing fiery redness and exfoliation of most of the body surface. It affects 0.4-7% of all cases.

“The approval of BIMZELX in Japan is an important milestone that reinforces UCB’s commitment to the dermatology community and to advancing standards of care in psoriasis,” said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Executive Vice President, Immunology Solutions and Head of US, UCB.

“At UCB, our ambition is to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases. We are incredibly proud to bring a new psoriasis treatment option to healthcare professionals and patients in Japan to help support more patients in reaching their treatment goals.”

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Japan’s approval comes after the results of trials of bimekizumab in comparison to placebo and three other psoriasis treatments: ustekinumab, adalimumab and secukinumab. The various studies involved have been published in the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.

“UCB is committed to bringing bimekizumab to patients worldwide,” the company said in a statement.

“Bimekizumab is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults. Regulatory reviews are also underway in Australia, Canada and Switzerland.”

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