The injectable treatments, Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Ilumetri (tildrakizumab), get the go ahead from NICE.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its Final Guidance recommending the biologic treatments, Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Ilumetri (tildrakizumab) as options for treating severe psoriasis in adults in England and Wales, where the condition has not responded to other systemic therapies, or if these treatments are not suitable.
Cimzia (certolizumab pegol)
Cimzia is a biologic treatment which is taken by an injection every 2 weeks (after the 'loading dose' of two injections in each of weeks 0,2 and 4). It blocks tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) a chemical ‘messenger’ in the immune system that signals other cells to cause inflammation.
There is too much TNF alpha in the skin of people with psoriasis, which causes inflammation and can lead to tissue damage. TNF alpha can also lead to increased activity of the immune system by switching on certain white blood cells in the body, called T Cells. Once T cells become overactive they can trigger inflammation and other immune responses, encouraging the development of psoriasis.
Cimzia helps lower the amount of TNF alpha to more normal levels, and switches off the inflammatory cycle of psoriasis. This leads to improvement in symptoms for many people who take it.
You can read more about NICE's decision to approve Cimzia here
Ilumetri is a biologic treatment which is taken by an injection at weeks 0 and 4, and every 12 weeks thereafter. It was initially rejected by NICE in November 2018 as it was not considered to be cost-effective enough. However, following the submission of a new price by the manufacturer, it has subsequently been approved.
Ilumetri blocks the activity of interleukin 23 (IL-23), a type of small protein which controls the growth of white blood cells called T cells. When these T cells become overactive, they can trigger inflammation that is linked to the development of psoriasis.
By blocking the action of IL-23, Ilumetri reduces inflammation and can therefore improve the symptoms associated with psoriasis.
You can read more about NICE's decision to approve Ilumetri here
We will be publishing more information on both Cimzia and Ilumetri soon. In the meantime, please get in touch with us if you have any questions.