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Biologic Agents for Psoriasis

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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease and the choice of treatment depends on its severity. Nevertheless, it is not always easy to define the severity, as it depends not only from the extension of the skin involvement but also from the impact on the quality of life of these patients. According to the severity of the disease, both topical (mild to moderate psoriasis) and systemic (moderate to severe) treatments can be used. The main target of almost all systemic treatments for psoriasis is the immune system. An important therapeutic progress has been achieved since the introduction of biologics in the treatment of psoriasis.

Biologics are a heterogeneous group of monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, and recombinant cytokines that modify and regulate pivotal and specific mechanisms involved in psoriasis’ immunopathogenesis. Four biologics are available at the moment for the treatment of psoriasis: three antitumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) agents, namely, adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, and one anti-IL12/23 monoclonal antibody (mAb), ustekinumab. In clinical studies as well as in daily practice, biologics have shown high efficacy both in the short- and in the long-term treatment together with a good safety profile. Nevertheless, it is of great importance in order to guaranty a good safety profile that the patients undergo a detailed screening prior to the beginning of the treatment and a regular follow-up.

Moreover, the better understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms of psoriasis leads to continuous development of new therapeutic agents with very promising results.


  • Psoriasis
  • Biologics
  • Anti-TNFα
  • AntiIL12-23
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept
  • Infliximab
  • Ustekinumab

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Correspondence to Marina Papoutsaki .

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Papoutsaki, M., Antoniou, C. (2015). Biologic Agents for Psoriasis. In: Katsambas, A.D., Lotti, T.M., Dessinioti, C., D’Erme, A.M. (eds) European Handbook of Dermatological Treatments. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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