RemedyOne EVP of clinical services Robert Louie recently published an article for Pharmaphorum about topical psoriasis treatments Vtama and Zoryve. Below is an excerpt.
Psoriasis is a tricky disease to manage, as drawbacks and side effects loom with each and every type of treatment. Anyone who watches television has heard the list of potential adverse reactions, considering that commercials for psoriasis treatments are seemingly only outnumbered by goofy ads for auto insurance.
Topicals — creams, ointments, foams, and lotions applied directly to the affected areas of the skin — don’t get nearly as much TV time as their systemic biologic counterparts, the self-injectables with catchy theme songs, where the smiley and sleeveless walk confidently down the street and/or swim. But two new non-steroidal topicals were introduced this year — Dermavant Science’s Vtama and Arcutis Biotherapeutics’ Zoryve — and each one solves a long-time problem plaguing millions of psoriasis patients. There are no limitations on the duration of use.
How to quantify severity
Patients afflicted with psoriasis have a malfunctioning immune system that mistakenly attacks the body by overproducing skin cells, which leads to a build-up of scaly plaques. Those who develop psoriatic arthritis are saddled with joint pain and inflammation.
When categorizing the severity of psoriasis, it’s generally defined by the total amount of skin surface area covered by plaques. Less than 3% is considered mild, 3-10% moderate, and anything greater than 10% is severe. In other cases, the location of the affected areas can influence the level of severity. When sensitive areas like the face, the palm of a hand, or the sole of a foot are inflamed, a diagnosis of severe is possible due to the pain or discomfort experienced from even the most basic of movements.
First in class
In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Vtama (tapinarof) cream, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist and the first FDA-approved steroid-free topical medication in its class. Two months later, Arcutis won approval for its Zoryve (roflumilast) cream. Both are once-a-day treatments.
For moderate to severe cases, systemic biologics work to suppress the immune system and bring relief to the skin and joints. For milder cases, doctors have traditionally prescribed topical corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, and retinoids.
Read the complete article on Pharmaphorum.