Psoriasis is a frequently occurring inflammatory skin disorder characterized by hyper proliferating keratinocytes and massive infiltration of leukocytes. It affects about 25 million people in North America and Europe and is likely the most prevalent immune-mediated skin disease in adults. Psoriasis treatment needs long term drug application, generating a high volume of sales that is predicted to further increase as the demand for efficacious treatment of psoriasis in emerging countries is rising.
Although the pathogenesis of psoriasis is not fully understood, biologics targeting molecules implicated in the disease mechanisms are first line tharapies for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. Characteristic examples are anti-IL12/IL23 (Stelara, ustekinumab), anti-TNF (Humira, adalimumab) as well as anti-IL17 (secukinumab) currently successfully passing phase II trials, thus underlining the importance of its role in the psoriasis pathology mechanisms.
Imiquimod (IMQ) induced psoriasis recapitulates many important features of the psoriatic pathology and in combination to humanized transgenic mice allows the efficacy platforms for the evaluation of human therapeutics.