NICE has issued final draft guidance that recommends guselkumab (Tremfya, Janssen) as a treatment option for adults who have severe plaque psoriasis.

The recommendation applies to people who have not responded to, or cannot take, other systemic therapies including ciclosporin and methotrexate. Treatment should be stopped at 16 weeks if the psoriasis has not responded adequately.

Evidence showed that guselkumab is likely to provide similar health benefits at a similar or lower cost to two other biological drugs previously recommended by NICE, ixekizumab and secukinumab.

Clinical trial results also showed that guselkumab is more effective than recommended TNF-alpha inhibitors (adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab) and ustekinumab.

Psoriasis is a skin disease which is estimated to affect around 959,000 people in England. Around 43,000 people have severe plaque psoriasis.

The company has agreed a patient access scheme with the Department of Health and Social Care. The level of discount is commercial in confidence.

Professor Chris Griffiths, Foundation Professor of Dermatology at The University of Manchester, UK and VOYAGE 1 study Steering Committee member said: “Psoriasis is a serious long-term condition with important comorbidities that can impact patients’ daily lives.

“Guselkumab provides a significant and welcome advance in our management of psoriasis with a high percentage of patients achieving clear or nearly clear skin over the long-term”.

Jennifer Lee, Director of Health Economics, Market Access and Reimbursement (HEMAR) and Advocacy, Janssen-Cilag Ltd commented on the NICE approval, said: “We are delighted that NICE is recommending guselkumab be made available to patients in the UK. There remains a need for new treatment options that improve long-term outcomes. Patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis may now benefit from this new treatment option, which has been shown to have a clinically meaningful effect on their disease. At Janssen, we remain committed to developing innovative therapies to improve the lives of those living with these debilitating diseases.”