Biologic therapy for psoriasis: an overview of infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, efalizumab, and alefacept

  • Jeffrey M. Weinberg
Part of the Milestones in Drug Therapy book series (MDT)


The implication of an immunologic phenomena in the pathogenesis of psoriasis has led to research for new treatment options over the past few years [1]. The result has been the birth of biologic therapies, those drugs targeting the activity of T lymphocytes and cytokines responsible for the inflammatory nature of this disease. Singri et al. [2] defined four strategies that clarify the mechanism of action for the various biologic agents: (1) reduction of pathogenic T cells, (2) inhibition of T cell activation, (3) immune deviation (‘deviation’ of a TH1 immune response toward a greater TH2-type response through the involvement of these TH2-type cytokines), and (4) blocking the activity of inflammatory cytokines [2]. We have previously reviewed the utility of biologic agents for psoriasis [3]. In this article, we present an update on the progress of the tumor necrosis factor inhibitors infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab (all strategy 4) as well as the T cell-targeted therapies efalizumab (strategy 2) and alefacept (strategy 1) (Tab. 1). Clinical data for these agents, including the most recent Phase II and/or III study results will be discussed, as well as the most recent safety data (Tab. 2).


Psoriatic Arthritis Standardize Incidence Ratio Plaque Psoriasis Dermatology Life Quality Index Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey M. Weinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologySt. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Beth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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