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Interim Report from Canadian Drug Study Subject
from M in Canada

Hi Ed: Its M in Canada with an update on the clinical trial.

[This from M’s June correspondence:

This trial is a randomized double-blind comparison of LFA3TIP vs. placebo via intravenous. It is

(a) two treatment courses of LFA3TIP with 12 weekly doses per course, or

(b) LFA3TIP for 12 weeks followed by placebo for 12 weeks, or

(c) placebo for 12 weeks followed by LFA3TIP for 12 weeks.

I am on my 10th week and so far I have not noticed any improvement, so I am assuming I must be on the placebo (c). Anyway, after the 12th week there is a washout period of 3 months and hopefully I will then start on the active LFA3TIP for 12 weeks.]

I have completed the 3 month washout period and am about to start the next set of injections. I am feeling a bit down right now because I had a case of strep throat and resulting severe breakout of guttate P. I don't think I have had it this bad before. My derm gave me some cream — Desonide — and also advised I could use Exorex while on this trial. Do you think I am being silly for really pinning all my hopes on this set of injections being the active ingredient? [I.E. Rather than the placebo in the double-blind study. -Ed]

I just wanted to mention that, although these trials are on a volunteer basis, I had to convince my derm to let me participate. At the time this trial started he said I didn't have enough psoriasis. Can you believe this? — the fact that they may have discovered a possible cure for psoriasis and he didn't want me to be part of it?

As I mentioned before, I have had psoriasis for almost 26 years. I was born in England and moved to Canada in 1994. I think you are right about climate affecting psoriasis, because I was always able to control it in England but in Canada it is worse — more so in the summers.

During my two pregnancies my P cleared completely only to return worse after the births of my children. I do believe hormone changes play a big part in how our skin reacts and of course stress and diet also.

I will keep you informed on how the trials go. -M from Canada.

P.S. Ed, what do you think about this trial? Could it be a breakthrough for psoriatics and, if so, when do you think it will be available on the market?

*****

Ed’s Response: Since you’ve finished the first 12-week course with no noticeable improvement, I think it’s natural for you to assume you’ve been on the placebo, M. Of course, so as not to forget the "80% Club" that governs most P-therapies, we must accept the possibility that you are among the 20% who simply won’t benefit from this drug.

Since your derm thought you weren’t severe enough to participate in the first place, I suppose he’s pleased by your strep-related guttate flare-up? (@#&%! him.) Second thought, he probably isn’t, as severe plaque-types are the targets for this trial.

By the way, a similar study launches this month at Creighton U. in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. The National Psoriasis Foundation has a posted details.

Could LFA3TIP be a real breakthrough? Of course it could. I tried to interpret some of NPF’s description of this study in my previous response to your email (see link, above). What seems to me to be most exciting about LFA3TIP is it narrows the bull’s eye inside the target immune system. The desired outcome is a drug the focuses on the immune system mis-function that causes psoriasis without affecting the rest of the immune system. This could be a drug as effective as today’s powerful and dangerous systemics, but without the danger. At least, that’s what we hope for and why we are so thankful folks like you are participating in the trials.

When might it become available commercially if the trials suggest it should be? In the U.S. that could take many more years if the formulation is brand new (as opposed to drugs already on the market but for some other condition). But since it’s being simultaneously tested in Canada, perhaps we’ll get a little international competition working in our favor. Lord knows, if it works, plenty of U.S. flakers would hunt for the drug north of the border if it weren’t available down here!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you enter into the final 12 weeks of the trial, M. And I hope to get a very positive report from you closer to year’s end. -Ed

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