Ahmad Amin, MD: Safety of Biologics for Treatment of Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis

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In another interview segment, Dr. Amin described some of the other biggest points from his conference talk on choosing the best route for psoriasis in patients.

Ahmad Amin, MD, FAAD, in another segment of his HCPLive interview, discussed several other major points made in his conference talk ‘Biological Bootcamp: How to Select the Best Biologics for Your Psoriasis Patient,’ also explaining his outlook on current treatments.

Amin serves as an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine as well as the director of the Psoriasis Program and the co-director of the Multidisciplinary Psoriatic Arthritis Clinic at Northwestern Medicine.

His talk was presented at the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) 2023 Annual Summer Dermatology Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Amin first began with a discussion about treatments he mentioned that can help treat joints specifically.

“A lot of the biologics that are out there that we use to treat skin disease are also approved to treat psoriatic arthritis,” he stated. “You know, in general, we're lucky as dermatologists because we can shoot for getting a lot of our patients with psoriasis. 75%, 90%, even 100% with a lot of our drugs. The joint results aren't always typically that high, in terms of clinical trials for these medications and for psoriatic arthritis the bar for improvement was a lot lower.”

Amin explained that improvement scores of 20% or scores are 50% were originally what clinicians had hoped for, but that now there is a lot of room for optimism as far as levels of improvement in joint disease.

“Patients in general, their joints don't always improve as fast or as well as their skin,” he noted. “But, you know, I think if you do look at some of the data for some of these biologic drugs, especially if you look at anti-TNF data, anti-IL 17 data, you really see pretty good levels of improvement in patients who have joint disease.”

Amin added that dermatologists are also starting to also see this phenomenon with interleukin-23 drugs as well for those with psoriatic arthritis.

He then began a broader discussion about the safety profiles of various treatments discussed in his conference presentation at SDPA.

“Overall, I think what I stressed in the talk is that biologic drugs have proven to be quite safe medicines, and part of the reason is the fact that they're so precise and targeted for the cytokines that are blocking,” Amin noted. “Now, I think we should always be aware that we're putting patients on immunomodulatory medicines. There is a small infection risk there with any of these drugs, but you know the data is pretty clear that serious infections just don't happen at a significant rate at all.”

Amin further stated that while the anti-TNF drugs are associated with reactivation of TB, and that there is an important need to check for latent TB prior to starting someone on an anti-TNF drug, overall safety data is strong.

Later, he spoke about his outlook on current treatments for psoriasis in the world of dermatology today.

“As a provider, we're so lucky and I think that we have so many amazing treatment options to treat patients with psoriasis,” Amin said “…I think psoriasis is a really great area to be in because we have so many awesome treatment options and and I think there are other things in the pipeline too. I think we have a new IL17 drug which hopefully will be approved in the near future.”

To find out more about Amin’s conference presentation, view the full interview above.

The quotes in this description were edited for clarity.