Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV





Apremilast, an oral phosphodiesterase‐4 inhibitor, has demonstrated efficacy in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.


To evaluate long‐term efficacy and safety of apremilast in biologic‐naive patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and safety of switching from etanercept to apremilast in the phase 3b LIBERATE trial.


Two hundred fifty patients were randomized to placebo, apremilast 30 mg BID or etanercept 50 mg QW through Week 16; thereafter, all patients continued or switched to apremilast through Week 104 (extension phase). Skin, scalp and nail involvement at Weeks 16, 52 and 104 were assessed using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI; 0–72), Scalp Physician Global Assessment (ScPGA; 0–5) and Nail Psoriasis Severity Index (NAPSI; 0–8); patient‐reported outcomes (PROs) were assessed using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI; 0–32) and pruritus visual analog scale (VAS; 0–100 mm).


The apremilast‐extension phase (Weeks 16–104) included 226 patients in the placebo/apremilast (n = 73), apremilast/apremilast (n = 74) and etanercept/apremilast (n = 79) groups, and at Week 104, 50.7%, 45.9% and 51.9% of these patients, respectively, maintained ≥75% reduction from baseline in PASI score (based on last‐observation‐carried‐forward analysis). Across treatment groups, ScPGA 0 (clear) or 1 (minimal) was achieved by 50.0%–59.2% of patients; NAPSI mean change from baseline was −48.1% to −51.1%; DLQI score ≤5 was achieved by 66.0%–72.5% of patients; and pruritus VAS mean change from baseline was −24.4 to −32.3. AEs in ≥5% of patients (diarrhoea, nausea, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection and headache) did not increase with prolonged apremilast exposure.


Apremilast demonstrated significant and sustained improvements in skin, scalp, nails and PROs (pruritus and quality of life) over 104 weeks in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Safety was consistent with the known safety profile of apremilast.


Reproduced with permission of Wiley Online Library. JEADV

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Peer Reviewed


Open Access