Novel psoriasis drug on the horizon

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Promising investigational oral drug may offer fewer side effects than current therapies.

Novel psoriasis drug on horizon
Novel psoriasis drug on horizon

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.

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.
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