The Implications of Deucravacitinib's Approval for Psoriasis

A dermatologist considers what the orally-administered TYK2 inhibitor will provide eligible adult patients.

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved deucravacitinib as a daily oral therapy to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients.

The approval granted to Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) made the TYK2 inhibitor a first-in-class option for patients with psoriasis—supported by a pair of 52-week phase 3 trials showing a majority of treated patients achieved clear or almost clear skin by weeks 16 and 24.

While the data are exciting for patients, it’s the underlying makeup of deucravacitinib—and its promise of improved safety and convenient administration—that make it stand out to experts.

In an interview with HCPLive during the 2022 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference this week, Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Eczema and Itch in the department of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, discussed deucravacitinib as the latest prescribing option for psoriasis.

“It’s really hard to keep up with how much is happening—and there’s now that option as well,” he said. “So we now have a couple of oral therapeutic options for our patients with psoriasis.”

The inhibitor joined apremilast as the lone orally-administered biologics for adult patients. “And in the case of deucravacitinib, this is particularly exciting because this is a new area of targeting: the TYK-2 protein,” Chovatiya said. “This is sort of an allosteric inhibitor of the actual protein itself…which gives it some unique specificity. And the idea, theoretically, is that we could potentially limit some of those side effects we may think about with JAK inhibition.”

Chovatiya mentioned the “promising” 16- and 24-week data for deucravacitinib, adding the pluses of observed good tolerability and the FDA approving the drug without a boxed warning label—“a big move forward” for the field of psoriasis-targeting therapies.