injections and oral drugs. But they are usually reserved for more severe cases.
“The market has become crowded with systemic therapies,” Lebwohl notes. “But most people have more moderate disease.”
Among the oral medications is apremilast (Otezla), a pill that targets an inflammation-producing enzyme called PDE-4. Roflumilast, the new cream-based medication, is also a PDE-4 inhibitor.
Lebwohl says, it could offer patients an equally effective nonsteroid alternative, if it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, a dermatologist, agreed that a new topical option would be “welcome.”
“It would be exciting to see an effective topical treatment for psoriasis that’s also well-tolerated,” Eichenfield says.
The trial included 331 adults with plaque psoriasis, usually a moderate form. On average, the condition affected six percent of their skin surface.
Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Two used the roflumilast cream once a day, at either a lower or higher dose. The third used a placebo cream.
Within six weeks, 28 percent of patients on the higher dose had