Vunakizumab (SHR-1314) is a new interleukin 17A monoclonal antibody in phase I studies that has showed preliminary effectiveness and tolerability. For a study, researchers sought to assess the effectiveness and safety of vunakizumab in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

About 187 eligible patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis were randomised 1:1:1:1:1 to receive vunakizumab (40, 80, 160, or 240 mg) or placebo subcutaneously every 4 weeks until week 12 (2 more drug administrations for the vunakizumab groups on weeks 16 and 20). The primary goal was to have at least a 75% improvement in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index by week 12. 

At week 12, all vunakizumab groups had significantly higher proportions of responders with at least 75% improvement in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index compared to placebo (40, 80, 160, and 240 mg: 56.8 percent, 65.8%, 81.6%, and 86.5%, respectively, vs 5.4%; P<.001 for all); the proportions of patients achieving Physician’s Global Assessment responses of 0 or 1 were also higher with vunakizumab (45.9%, 47.4%, 60.5%, and 73.0%, respectively, vs 8.1%). There were no unanticipated side effects.

Vunakizumab has shown potential effectiveness and tolerability in moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, warranting further exploration in bigger and longer-term trials.