VISIBLE Study Dedicated Entirely to Psoriasis Patients with Skin of Color

Dr. Daphne Chan spoke of representation in psoriasis trials, how psoriasis affects different skin types, and how the VISIBLE study can influence dermatology research at large.

This week, Janssen Pharmaceutical announced phase 3b of the VISIBLE study, which is the first large-scale clinical study in dermatology that is entirely devoted to patients with skin of color with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

The trial will further evaluate the safety and efficacy of guselkumab (TREMFYA) exclusively in Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, and other people with skin of color with the skin disease.

“Janssen is working to set a new standard where we focus on increasing diversity and inclusion in clinical trials, because quite frankly people of color have really been underrepresented across therapeutic areas including dermatology,” said Dr. Daphne Chan, Head of Medical Affairs at Janssen Dermatology.

In an interview with HCPLive, Chan spoke of representation in psoriasis trials, how the condition affects different skin types, and how the VISIBLE study can influence dermatology research at large.

Previous research indicates that 86% of patients across phase 3 psoriasis clinical trials have been White. With over 8 million Americans living with psoriasis today, these trials have excluded large swaths of patients with skin of color.

Furthermore, psoriasis can present differently on different skin types. Without proper representation in clinical trials such as the VISIBLE study, patients with skin of color might not even be aware of the severity of their condition, and physicians might not be able to accurately diagnose psoriasis in patients with skin of color.

“The perception that psoriasis may not be as prevalent in impacting people of color, it's not true and it's something that we need to increase awareness of so that both clinicians who are treating patients who may be of color and people of color themselves who may not be aware that they could be having psoriasis,” Chan said. “(The VISIBLE study) is going to help both the provider community as well as the patient community come to realization that they are impacted by a really important disease that needs proper care and treatment.”

Despite an wealth of positive data for guselkumab, Chan added that patients with skin of color deserved a study that could generate rigorous data and inform treatment decision making in these populations.

Investigators from the study will be working closely alongside skin of color experts as well as improving their recruitment efforts by working with community leaders and various outreach programs.

"It's a more much more personal touch that we're trying to bring to the conduct of research, which, frankly, can be pretty daunting,” Chan said. “Breaking down those barriers, making it more inclusive, making it easier, making it within reach is what we're trying to do. And hopefully, with our intentional efforts of coming closer to where the patients are actually located, we will be successful in recruiting for this study and retaining patients to participate in the study.”

Watch the full video interview with Dr. Chan above.