Ixekizumab (IXE) treatment enables rapid improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and itch: Results from UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3



IXE is an anti-interleukin-17A monoclonal antibody shown to rapidly improve plaques in moderate-to-severe psoriasis. The objective was to assess the speed of itch and HRQoL improvements in 2 phase 3 trials. Data were integrated from multicenter, double-blind, placebo (PBO)-controlled trials. Patients were randomized to subcutaneous PBO (N=361), etanercept (ETN; 50 mg twice weekly; N=740), or IXE 80 mg as one injection every 2 (IXEQ2W; N=733) or 4 weeks (IXEQ4W; N=736) following an IXE 160-mg starting dose, for 12 weeks. HRQoL was assessed by the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). Itch severity was assessed using the Itch Numeric Rating Scale. A minimally clinical important difference (MCID) in DLQI was a ≥5-point improvement. The MCID for itch was a ≥4-point improvement. Median time to response from randomization was estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods and log-rank test. Hazard ratios between treatments were obtained using a Cox proportional hazards regression model adjusting for studies. Significantly greater numbers of patients treated with IXEQ2W/IXEQ4W were likely to achieve a ≥5-point DLQI reduction or a ≥4-point itch reduction vs ETN/PBO after 12 weeks (all p<.001). The median time for 50% of patients to reach a ≥5-point DLQI reduction was significantly faster for IXE- vs ETN-/PBO-treated patients. A ≥4-point itch reduction was achieved in 2 weeks (IXE), 8 weeks (ETN), and not achieved within 12 weeks (PBO). Sensitivity analysis using all intention-to-treat patients regardless of baseline DLQI/itch scores confirmed the significant findings. IXE enabled patients to achieve more rapid improvements in HRQoL and itch vs ETN and PBO.


Dr. Nicole Burkhardt

Dr. Nicole Burkhardt completed her PhD (in 2009) and her postdoctoral studies at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She is a Senior Clinical Research Scientist at Eli Lilly Australia Pty Ltd, and she has published more than 5 papers in reputed journals.