ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott Laboratories announced that the European Commission approved the marketing of Humira as a treatment for moderate to severe forms of the skin disorder plaque psoriasis, according to published reports. The drug is approved in the U.S. to treat rheumatoid arthritis; psoriatic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis, a spinal disorder; and Crohn’s disease, a bowel disorder.
Humira was effective in more than 80 percent of patients in one clinical trial at clearing skin lesions 75 percent or better, according to the company. About three-quarters of patients in another trial had a similar response. About half of all the patients injecting Humira had 90 percent clearance within 16 weeks, Abbott said.
Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself. Psoriasis is the fifth approved use of Humira in the European Union, and the drug is still under review for treating the skin disease in the U.S., Abbott said. Global sales of Humira totaled $803 million in the third quarter.