New Data Shows Versatility and Promise of Bimekizumab Therapy


The biologic has shown promise in the management of both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

New data delivered today from global pharmaceutical company UCB and in late October at the 2021 Fall Clinical Dermatology showcased the versatility of bimekizumab, an investigational humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody designed to inhibit both interleukin (IL)-17A and IL-17F cytokines responsible for driving inflammatory processes.

Promising results in the treatments of both psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis were detailed in the recent announcements.

Previous coverage of the biologic, including phase 2 exploratory trial data, indicated rapid, deep clinical responses in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Though not yet approved in the United States, data on bimekizumab remains positive, as alluded to in recent research.


Today, global pharmaceutical company UCB announced positive top-line interim analysis results from phase 3 of the BE OPTIMAL study, which assessed the efficacy and safety of bimekizumab in adults with active psoriatic arthritis who disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug naïve.

The company announced that the study had met its primary endpoint and ranked secondary endpoints with statistical significance.

Patients treated with the biologic in the study achieved 50% or greater improvement in signs and symptoms of disease from baseline, compared with placebo at week 16 of the study, according to measurements made by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 50 response.

Additionally, among ranked secondary endpoints, patients treated with bimekizumab demonstrated significant improvements in physical function at week 16 of the study, as measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index.

Plaque Psoriasis Data

Data were presented at the 2021 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference that occurred from October 21-24 suggested that the biologic demonstrated the lowest number needed to treat (NNT) for Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) 90 and PASI 100 skin clearance levels compared with other biologics during a 16-week study of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

The NNT analysis was born out a lack of head-to-head studies that directly compared all available treatments for plaque psoriasis.

A large, systematic literature review preceded the current analysis and featured 86 randomized controlled trials. The data was presented at the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

In an interview with HCPLive, Jeffrey Stark, MD, Head of Immunology at UCB, spoke of the promise of bimekizumab for the treatment of psoriasis compared to other biologics such as ixekizumab, secukinumab, and adalimumab.

In the current analysis, Stark noted that the “spectrum of available mechanism of action” were represented.

Regarding NNT, which refers to the number of individuals that need to be treated with a given therapy in order to achieve specific outcomes, bimekizumab showed the most promise.

“We’re very happy to see in the results of the number needed to treat analysis that across this spectrum level biologic therapies bimekizumab had the lowest number needed to treat for both PASI 90 and for PASI 100,” Stark said. “So, those numbers for PASI 90, for example, were 1.22 for bimekizumab and for PASI 100 were 1.74.”

Stark further contextualized the data, saying that only 1.22 patients would need to be treated with the biologic for 1 patient to achieve PASI 90, and only 1.74 or fewer needed to be treated for 1 patient to achieve complete and total clearance.

“So, these are quite remarkable numbers, we feel and certainly reflect very favorably on the effectiveness of bimekizumab in comparison to the other available therapies that plaque psoriasis patients had at their disposal today,” Stark said.

To hear more on the promise of bimekizumab therapy for plaque psoriasis patients, watch the interview above.

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