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Amevive (alefacept)
from Molly M.

I've just discovered your great website.  Coincidentally, I saw an article in the paper yesterday about a new drug being developed by Biogen which is showing great promise with psoriasis.  Have you heard of anyone who got to participate in any of these studies?  The generic name is alefacept and I believe it will be marketed by the name Amevive.  This new drug is a fusion of two proteins which act on the memory effector T-cells which seem to play a huge roll in psoriasis.  As far as I can tell from what I've been able to gather, there doesn't seem to be the same kind of bad side effects as other systemic drugs used to treat psoriasis like Methotrexate and Soriatane.  Additionally, there doesn't appear to be a rebound effect after you stop taking the drug.  Anyway, if you know something about it, I'd love to hear, and if you don't, I'm happy to pass along the info!

Thanks for the website! -Molly M.

*****

Ed’s Response:  Amevive is all-the-buzz now as one of several new drugs showing great promise for treating P.  This excerpt from the NPF web site…

(A)lefacept (brand name Amevive) … aims to prevent the activation of T cells. [In phase 2 trials,] patients (229 total) had 12 weekly intravenous doses at one of three doses or of a placebo, then they were tracked for 12 weeks.

At some point after treatment began, 48 percent of patients saw their psoriasis improve by 75 percent, and 76 percent saw an improvement of at least 50 percent. Twenty-three percent of patients were clear of psoriasis after one 12-week course of therapy, and patients stayed clear for between five and 17 months. Alefacept, which is manufactured by Biogen, is now in phase 3 clinical trials.  Click here for full article.

I haven’t heard from any trial subjects (so far as I know).

If all goes well, Amevive may be available by 2002.  I’ll be interested to see what it costs.  -Ed

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