April W. Armstrong, MD, MPH: Trial Data on Oral TYK2 Inhibitor Treatment for Psoriasis


New data discussed by Armstrong in this interview shows promising results for the once-per-day TYK2 inhibitor treatment known as TAK-279 for plaque psoriasis.

In an HCPLive interview, April W. Armstrong, MD, MPH, discussed her recent presentation from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2023 conference on the phase 2b clinical trial of the tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor TAK-279 for plaque psoriasis.1

Armstrong works both as a professor of dermatology and as the associate dean of clinical research at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

“So oral therapy is something that I know that (psoriasis patients) have expressed a lot of interest in, especially my patients with regards to having that modality for treatment,” she explained. “And the background leading up to this is that in the oral space for the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis, we have really honed in on a specific target. And this particular target is TYK2.”

TAK-279 was designed as an oral, once-per-day TYK2 inhibitor for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. The drug is a late-stage and highly selective, allosteric TYK2 inhibitor.

“And why TYK2 is so important to inhibit or block is that TYK2 is really central to mediating some of the key signals, the pathogenic signals, that may be increased in patients with psoriasis,” she added. “And in fact, we actually have an oral therapy that is already FDA-approved that inhibits TYK2, and the generic name is deucravacitinib.”

In the trial data presented at the conference, the drug was found to have led to significant skin clearance improvement compared to placebo, especially at a 5 mg dose or higher taken once daily.

“In this particular trial, what was found is that by week 12, about 7 out of 10 patients who were treated with TAK achieved PASI75,” she said. “Meaning that they are at least 75% or more better at week 12 compared to baseline.”

She also added that nearly half of the study participants were found to have achieved a PASI90 score, or a minimum of 90% improvement in their psoriasis severity compared to baseline at 12 weeks.

“And then finally, I think something that really struck me is the highest dose, which is the 30 milligram daily dose of TAK molecule, almost a third of the patients by week 12 would achieve PASI100 or complete clearance of the skin,” Armstrong said. “I would say, when we're thinking about oral therapies, oftentimes complete clearance is not something we often talk about.”

Armstrong noted that the results were positive signs for the drug, suggesting the possibilities for the future of treatment research for psoriasis.

View the interview above to learn more about Armstrong’s presentation.


  1. Armstrong AW, et al. Efficacy and safety results from the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2b trial of TYK2 inhibitor NDI-034858 in moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Paper presented at: American Academy of Dermatology 2023 Annual Meeting; March 17 – 21. New Orleans, LA. Accessed March 19, 2023.
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