Guselkumab demonstrates long-term efficacy and maintenance of treatment response postwithdrawal in systemic treatment-naïve patients and nonresponders to fumaric acid esters: results from parts II and III of a randomized active-comparator-controlled phase IIIb trial (POLARIS)

Diamant Thaçi, Andreas Pinter, Michael Sebastian, Christian Termeer, Michael Sticherling, Sascha Gerdes, Knut Schäkel, Sven Wegner, Stefanie Krampe, Holger Bartz, Christian Rausch, Friedemann Taut, Kilian Eyerich

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Abstract

Background The anti-interleukin-23 antibody guselkumab (GUS) demonstrated favourable week 24 efficacy and safety over fumaric acid esters (FAE) in systemic treatment-naïve patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (study part I). Objectives To compare, in study part II, the sustainability of treatment responses (weeks 24-32) in GUS- and FAE-treated patients and treatment responses (weeks 32-56) in patients treated with GUS and FAE and in FAE nonresponders switching to GUS; and, in part III, to investigate the maintenance of response through week 100 in patients withdrawn from GUS at week 56. Methods At week 0, systemic treatment-naïve patients were randomized 1 : 1 to GUS or FAE as per label. At week 32, patients with a Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) 75 (≥ 75% improvement in PASI score) response (r) continued assigned treatment (GUSr-GUS; FAEr- FAE), whereas nonresponders (nr) received GUS (FAEnr-GUS; GUSnr-GUS). GUS-treated patients with a week 56 PASI 90 response (≥ 90% improvement in PASI score) were withdrawn (w) and followed until loss of response or week 100. Results At week 32, 98% (n = 54/55) of GUS- and 41% (n = 14/34) of FAE-treated patients were PASI 75 responders. At week 56, 91%, 50% and 80% of GUSr-GUS, FAEr-FAE and FAEnr-GUS patients, respectively, achieved a PASI 90 response; 72%, 29% and 45%, respectively, achieved a Dermatology Life Quality Index score of 0/1. At week 100, 44 weeks postwithdrawal, 47% (n = 17/36) and 25% (n = 3/12) of GUS-GUSw and FAEGUSw patients, respectively, maintained a PASI score ≤ 5. Overall, the adverse event and discontinuation rates were lower for GUS than FAE. Conclusions In these exploratory analyses, GUS, as a first-line systemic treatment or second-line systemic treatment in FAE nonresponders, was associated with long-term clinical efficacy up to week 100, including a withdrawal period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-48
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Volume191
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes

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