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Psoriasis drugs show promise

Targeted medications effective at clearing skin condition

9:38am, March 29, 2012

Two experimental drugs given to patients with psoriasis can clear the skin condition’s characteristic thick, dry, red patches at unprecedented rates. The finding paves the way for the long-term clinical trials required for regulatory approval of the medications.

By toning down a key immune protein, the drugs wipe out many psoriasis plaques while showing few signs of side effects. Studies of the two drugs appear in the March 29 New England Journal of Medicine.

Provided major adverse effects don’t turn up in long-term tests, the two medications have a bright future, says Andrew Blauvelt, an immunologist and dermatologist at the Oregon Medical Research Center in Portland. “So far, these are looking like great drugs.”

Craig Leonardi, a dermatologist at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, was part of both teams that tested the drugs, called ixekizumab and brodalumab. He and other researchers scored the severity of the p

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