Psoriasis is a progressive, often debilitating, lifelong autoimmune disease of the skin frequently affecting the joints. It has major adverse effects on quality of life and self-esteem. It can start at any age, however most commonly in adults under 35 years old. The worldwide prevalence is estimated at 2-3%, approximately 125 million people (2015). In the USA 7.4 million people suffer from psoriasis (2013). In Europe the prevalence varies significantly by countries; on the 2-3% prevalence rate it is estimated 10.0 million people have psoriasis (2015). In the UK the prevalence of psoriasis increased steadily from 2.3% in 1999 to 2.8% in 2013 with an estimated 1.8 million people (2017) with the disease.
In five European countries (Germany, Spain, France, Italy and United Kingdom) the total annual cost per patient ranged from US$2,077 to US$13,132 for psoriasis and from US$10,924 to US$17,050 for psoriatic arthritis (2015). In Germany alone, where 1.6 million suffer from psoriasis, the annual costs for their treatment come to €7 billion (2006). Patients with psoriasis incur annual health care costs that are significantly greater than those of the general population and may amount to $135 billion annually in the USA (2013).
There is no curative therapy available for psoriasis. Current treatments are aimed at reducing inflammation, in order to clear the skin. Topical medication (creams, ointments), light therapy (UV light, A or B)) and systemic drugs are used to provide some relief. Systemic drugs are immunosuppressive agents (Methotrexate, Cyclosporine etc..) with significant potential side-effects. Newer generation immune suppressive agents (biologics) are very expensive. Among these, the annual cost of treatment per patient is highest for ustekinumab ($53,909), followed by etanercept ($46,395), and adalimumab ($39,041) (2014 data).
There is an urgent need for new, disease-specific, potentially curative treatment for this life-altering devastating disease. To assess the effectiveness of any new drug for moderate to severe psoriasis, the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) is most frequently used. It is accepted by the FDA as a primary end point in clinical trials.
Our company, PHAIM Ltd has an Antigenic Immune Modulator (AIM) platform designed to develop a novel disease-specific, much needed, potentially curative therapy for psoriasis.