The Internet was abuzz yesterday with the news of the results of the most recent study on the drug briakinumab. If that name sounds familiar, it is because I blogged about it a couple of months ago. At that time studies showed that it outperformed Enbrel, however strangely the application for approval to the FDA was withdrawn. I believe that there was a possible link to cardiac problems, however obviously the studies are continuing – which is good news.
The results in the article recently published showed that briakinumab gave a much better result in clearing up psoriasis than methotrexate. To be honest – I wasn’t at all surprised with this. Methotrexate is one of the oldest treatments out there, and is only effective for some people, and only after taking it for at least 6 months to get enough into your system. There have been studies showing that enbrel outperforms methotrexate, so if briakinumab outperformed enbrel then it is a step of logic that it must also be far better than methotrexate.
My big question is how much will this drug cost if it does succeed in passing its trials and getting approved by the FDA. Apparently it is a once a month injection (after a loading phase), and if it is as expensive as enbrel (about US$250 per shot) then I think it will still be way out of reach of the majority of psoriasis warriors. My fingers are crossed that it will be much more affordable.
Apparently according to the article, it is a 3 year trial, so assuming they are through the first year, then there are still two more years left. Next year enbrel comes off patent, and I hope that some company will be able to make a cheaper generic.