Ejim Mark, MD, MPH: Zasocitinib Shows Promise as Next-Generation TYK2 Inhibitor for PsA

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If approved, zasocitinib could become a leading oral treatment for PsA.

Despite the numerous treatments available, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) remains multifaceted and heterogeneous. Patient presentations and needs can vary significantly, necessitating tailored treatments. The current challenge is to find a drug that balances efficacy and safety to address these diverse patient needs effectively.

For example, some treatments exhibit strong efficacy but have poor safety profiles, while others balance these aspects differently. PsA manifestations, including psoriasis or axial disease, require specific treatment regimens that are often unmet by current options. Therefore, researchers are continually seeking new therapies that offer improved benefit-risk profiles and tailored administration methods.

In an interview with HCPLive, Ejim Mark, MD, MPH, MBA, Global Medical Unit Head, Autoimmune Diseases/Rheumatology at Takeda discusses how zasocitinib, a highly selective, oral allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor in late-stage development, may address unmet needs of patients with PsA.

Unlike other Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, zasocitinib targets TYK2 exclusively, potentially offering superior safety and efficacy profiles. TYK2 plays a crucial role in the development of psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and other autoimmune diseases. By inhibiting TYK2, zasocitinib can alleviate PsA symptoms, offering significant patient relief.

Recent phase 2 studies in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis conducted by Takeda have shown promising results, with the safety and efficacy profiles aligning well. Mark anticipates starting a series of phase 3 studies soon and is hoping data will confirm these findings. If results are replicated, zasocitinib could become a leading oral treatment for PsA.

Data presented at the 2024 European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) showed zasocitinib's consistent performance across different weights, sexes, and prior biologic treatments. This robustness is promising for broad patient applicability.

Takeda aims to expand treatment options for patients preferring non-injectable medications with zasocitinib. This development aligns with the company’s commitment to addressing unmet patient needs. Mark believes Takeda's long history and expertise in immunology and immune-driven diseases provide a strong foundation for developing and delivering effective treatments.

Disclosures: Mark is Global Medical Unit Head, Autoimmune Diseases/Rheumatology at Takeda.