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Keywords:

  • ustekinumab;
  • psoriasis;
  • human monoclonal antibody (mAb);
  • Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI);
  • Psoriasis Activity and Severity Index (PASI);
  • Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score (HADS)

The development of ustekinumab as a first-in-class anti-interleukin (IL) 12/23p40 therapeutic agent for psoriasis represents an important example of modern and rational drug design and development. Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic, immune-mediated skin disorder with considerable clinical, psychosocial, and economic burden. Ustekinumab is a human monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds the p40 subunit common to IL-12 and IL-23, key cytokines in psoriasis pathogenesis. The therapeutic mAb was developed using human gamma-1 immunoglobulin (IgG)-expressing transgenic mice, which created a molecule with endogenous IgG1 biologic properties and low immunogenicity. Ustekinumab was well tolerated in clinical studies and yielded rapid, significant, and sustained efficacy plus improved quality of life/work performance and reduced depression/anxiety. Its pharmacologic properties afford the most convenient dosing regimen among approved biologics, representing a significant advancement in the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. Ustekinumab also holds promise for other immune-mediated disorders with significant unmet need.