‌August 17th, 2023

Second-line biologics in psoriasis after first-line biologic failure


Many biologics are available for psoriasis and have been compared in real-life studies based on their persistence (i.e. time between initiation and discontinuation). However, after first-line biologic failure, data are lacking on the choice of second-line biologic among the four available classes [tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi); interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23 inhibitor (IL-12/IL-23i); IL-17 inhibitors (IL-17i); and IL-23 inhibitors (IL-23i)].



To compare the long-term persistence of available second-line biologics in psoriasis according to prior exposure.



This nationwide cohort study involved the administrative healthcare database of the French health insurance scheme linked to a hospital discharge database. Participants were adults with psoriasis, defined as having at least two prescriptions of a topical vitamin D derivative within a 2-year period, with initiation of a second-line biologic between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2021. We included patients who initiated a second-line biologic directly after first-line discontinuation (i.e. without a ‘washout’ period). The end of follow-up was 30 June 2022. Discontinuation was defined as > 90 days without filling a prescription for the same treatment after the period covered by the previous prescription. Comparison of persistence by biologic class involved using propensity score-weighted Cox models (inverse probability treatment weighting) and adjustment of specific systemic nonbiologics (time-dependent variables).



We included 8693 patients [mean (SD) age 50 (14) years; 50.5% male]; 2824 (32.5%) started TNFi, 1561 (18.0%) IL-12/IL-23i, 2707 (31.1%) IL-17i and 1601 (18.4%) IL-23i. Overall, 1- and 3-year persistence rates were 60% and 30%, respectively. After weighting and adjustment, persistence was longer with IL-12/IL-23i [weighted hazard ratio (HRw) 0.68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.62–0.76)], IL-17i (HRw 0.70, 95% CI 0.64–0.78) and IL-23i (HRw 0.36, 95% CI 0.31–0.42) than TNFi, except after first-line IL-17i treatment, with no difference between IL-12/IL-23i, IL-17i and TNFi second-line persistence. Persistence was longer with IL-23i as a second-line treatment than IL-12/IL-23i (HRw 0.53, 95% CI 0.44–0.63) and IL-17i (HRw 0.51, 95% CI 0.44–0.60), regardless of first-line treatment, with no difference seen between IL-12/IL-23i and IL-17i (HRw 0.97, 95% CI 0.87–1.09).



This real-life study suggests the longer persistence of IL-23i than TNFi, IL-17i and IL-12/IL-23i as second-line treatment for psoriasis. Persistence rates for all biologics remained low at 3 years.

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