VBL Therapeutics has recently completed a phase 2 study evaluating safety and efficacy of its lead compound, VB-201, in patients with psoriasis. A second phase 2 clinical trial in psoriasis began in the last quarter of 2012 and has recently completed enrollment.
Psoriasis is a chronic immune system disorder that affects an estimated 125 million people worldwide, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Psoriasis appears on the skin when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body and generally appears as patches of raised, red skin covered by a flaky, white buildup of dead skin cells, called scale. It affects both genders equally and can appear at any age, although it is most common between the ages of 15 and 25. People with psoriasis have an increased risk of developing other serious diseases, such as psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
While a range of treatments is currently available, no single treatment works for everyone. Current treatment options include biologics, which suppress inflammation in a systemic, non-specific way, can be successful at managing flare-ups.
However, some of the disadvantages current options have are potential significant side effects that may be problematic for long-term use, high price tag and administration by injection at a physician's office.
Broad oral systemic immunosuppressants are often prescribed, however they may cause significant toxicities and offer limited efficacy in psoriasis. Topical treatment such as creams, ointments or phototherapy may provide symptomatic treatment but not long-term control of the disease or prevention of deterioration.
Studies show that patients who use them are often undertreated, and tend to stop treatment once symptoms improve.
Thus, there remains a significant unmet need for safe, effective and convenient treatment for patients with psoriasis. Through its disease-modifying anti-inflammatory action, and according to its excellent safety profile, VB-201 is a good candidate for a long-term, daily oral control medication of psoriasis.