Robert Bissonnette, MD: Discussing the First Oral IL-23 Inhibitor for Psoriasis

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In this interview, Bissonnette spoke on the significance of the recent topline data on JNJ-2113 for patients with plaque psoriasis.

In a new interview with the HCPLive editorial team, Robert Bissonnette, MD, the Chief Executive Officer and medical director of Innovaderm Research, spoke on his team’s recent findings on the investigational, oral peptide inhibitor JNJ-2113 for psoriasis.1

JNJ-2113 had been noted by the investigators as being the first and only investigational targeted oral peptide inhibitor which was made specifically to block the IL-23 receptor, therapy inhibiting pathogenic T-cell activation in those with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

“In terms of what's unique about this study, it is that for the first time, we were able to show that administering a small peptide, orally, that was selected for 1 cytokine receptor, we could improve in immune mediated disease,” Bissonnette explained. “An immune mediated skin disease, but the same concept could be envisioned for other immune mediated inflammatory diseases.”

Bissonnette stated that this represents the first oral agent in the past couple of decades, noting that it was well-tolerated and had no major safety concerns.

He did add, however, that it was only 255 patients and that nothing has been assessed beyond 60 weeks as of yet.

“Some of my patients, for many years, have had issues with the injections that they cannot do themselves, and they have to go see a nurse and treatment center,” Bissonnette said. “Some of my patients will refuse a biologic because of fear of injections or because of the stress that is induced by injections. In addition, my experience as a physician has been that the older the patient is, the easier it is for them to accept injections…But when you go down to patients that are in their 20s, adolescents, and even children, then it's more problematic, and an oral drug is something that is usually favored by much younger patients.”

During the course of the study it had been noted that nasopharyngitis was observed among 5% of the treatment arm and 7% of the placebo arm, respectively, but that no dose-related adverse event increases had been seen among those treated with JNJ-2113.1

Incidence had been viewed to be comparable between each of the JNJ-2113 dose groups, with 52% in the treatment arm and 51% in the placebo.

“There were a few patients who had GI risk events, nausea type, but there was no dose relationship with that adverse event,” Bissonnette said. “This is given orally. It's possibly a difference that is not related to the medication, but phase 2 will give us more information about that. Apart from that, nothing specific stood out.”

To learn more about the data from Bissonnette’s team, view the interview video posted above.

The quotes contained in this description were edited for clarity.


  1. Smith T. Oral IL-23 Receptor Antagonist Peptide Effective in PASI Reduction for Psoriasis. HCPLive. February 7, 2024. February 16, 2024.