FDA Approves Biogen's Amevive

In March 2003 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved alefacept (Amevive) for treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

Amevive, manufactured by Biogen, is an immune system suppressing drug that is given weekly by intravenous injections. The FDA approved Amevive after two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies enrolling 1,060 adults showed a significant improvement in psoriasis symptoms compared to placebo.

Alefacept is a protein that reduces specific actions of the immune system that are involved in causing psoriasis.

Amevive is used for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis in people who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

It's been a long time coming. But finally there's a new revolutionary treatment to ease the suffering of those afflicted with psoriasis. This infuriating skin disease plagues one million Canadians and treatment has never been easy. But recently at the annual meeting of the Canadian Dermatology Association, doctors reported that a new drug, Amevive, would help subdue this physically and emotionally taxing disease.

What causes psoriasis has been debated for years. In normal skin it takes 30 days for the deepest layer of skin cells to reach the surface where they are eventually cast off. But for patients with psoriasis these cells reach the surface in a mere seven days.

Amevive is usually very well tolerated. About 6 percent of patients report chills after injection but these tend to be mild.”

— Dr Robert Bissonnette, Assistant Professor of Dermatology , Universite de Montreal

This medication is used to treat a certain skin condition (psoriasis). In psoriasis, certain cells involved in the body's natural defense (immune system) are too active, resulting in the buildup of plaques/dead skin cells. This buildup can cause unsightly patches of skin, discomfort, and pain. Alefacept is a protein that works by affecting the body's immune system to decrease plaques/dead skin cells.
This medication is not recommended for use in people with a certain virus infection (HIV). Consult your doctor for details.