Etanercept biosimilar (recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-α receptor II: IgG Fc fusion protein) and methotrexate combination therapy in Chinese patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial


Etanercept biosimilar recombinant human tumour necrosis factor-α receptor II: IgG Fc fusion protein (rhTNFR-Fc, trade name Yisaipu) has shown good efficacy in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. To compare the efficacy and safety of rhTNFR-Fc plus methotrexate (MTX) and rhTNFR-Fc plus placebo in Chinese patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. In this multicentre, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis were enrolled and randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive rhTNFR-Fc plus MTX or rhTNFR-Fc plus placebo. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving Psoriasis Area and Severity Index improvement of at least 75% (PASI 75) from baseline at week 24. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded to evaluate safety. Efficacy analysis was performed using the intent-to-treat principle. A total of 466 patients were enrolled and randomly received rhTNFR-Fc plus MTX (combination group, n = 233) or rhTNFR-Fc plus placebo (monotherapy group, n = 233). PASI 75 at week 24 was significantly higher in the combination group than in the monotherapy group (81.86% vs. 65.50%, p < 0.001). Similar results were observed in other PASI improvement scores at week 12 [PASI 75, 62.39% vs. 44.54% (p < 0.001); PASI 50, 87.17% vs. 75.55% (p = 0.001); and PASI 90, 34.07% vs. 18.78% (p < 0.001)] and week 24 [PASI 50, 92.48% vs. 85.59% (p = 0.019); and PASI 90, 64.16% vs. 42.36% (p < 0.001)]. Significantly more patients had a static Physicians’ Global Assessment of clear or almost clear in the combination group than in the monotherapy group at week 12 (26.46% vs. 12.50%, p < 0.001) and week 24 (62.38% vs. 40.83%, p < 0.001). The most common AEs in the two groups were upper respiratory tract infection and abnormal liver function. The combination therapy of rhTNFR-Fc plus MTX was an effective therapy for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile, indicating that it was feasible and well tolerated for patients.

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This research was supported by Zhejiang Public Walfare Technology Research Project (Grant number: LGF20H110002). Medical Health Science and Technology Project of Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission (Grant Number: 2018KY088) and 3SBIO INC.

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Correspondence to Min Zheng.

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Liu, L., Chen, J., Gu, J. et al. Etanercept biosimilar (recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-α receptor II: IgG Fc fusion protein) and methotrexate combination therapy in Chinese patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Dermatol Res 312, 437–445 (2020).

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  • Yisaipu
  • Etanercept biosimilar
  • Recombinant human tumour necrosis factor-α receptor II: IgG fc fusion protein
  • Methotrexate
  • Moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis