An investigational compound has shown similar efficacy for psoriasis to the recently approved apremilast (Otezla), without the side effects, according to study findings.

Can-Fite BioPharma is developing a novel biochemical pathway to treat psoriasis with an oral drug dubbed CF101, which uses an agonist for the A3 adenosine receptor. Results from a phase 2 trial and interim analysis of the phase 2/3 clinical studies of patients with psoriasis indicated CF101 is both safe and efficacious.

The randomized, double-blind study of 75 psoriatic patients in a dose-ranging study over 12 weeks showed statistically significant improvement among patients who received a 2-mg oral dose of CF101 at week eight. Patients reported progressively positive results.

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More than one-third of patients in the study scored greater than 50 on Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, and almost one-quarter achieved a Physician’s Global Assessment score of 0 or 1. No meaningful benefit was reported in the control group.

A small number of patients taking 2 mg of CF101 reported mild adverse events, including sinusitis and otitis media.

CF101 is currently in phase 3 trials.


  1. di Stefano S. Can-Fite’s Promising Psoriasis Drug Could Unseat Celgene’s Latest Entrant. Seeking Alpha. Updated June 17, 2014. Accessed July 8, 2014.