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NICE gives backing for the use of advanced biological therapies to treat severe psoriasis

Maidenhead, UK, 26 July 2006 - The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today issued guidance for the use of the targeted biological therapies, Enbrel (etanercept) and Raptiva (efalizumab), to treat adult patients with severe plaque psoriasis. However, top experts have expressed their concerns that many patients across Europe could still be denied treatment with this newest class of drugs due to funding issues.

NICE's announcement comes as welcome relief to the thousands of UK patients who have exhausted current available treatment options and failed to sustain a long-term benefit. It is a positive sign for patients throughout Europe, whose healthcare systems are influenced by NICE decisions. Leeroy Blake in England was fortunate enough to be offered treatment with a biological therapy, after years of trying every other available psoriasis treatment: "For many years, I tried every suitable treatment but nothing seemed to relieve the painful itching. As the itching got worse, I would get more stressed and this only made my condition worse. Following a treatment review with my doctor, I was prescribed a biological therapy and for the first time since developing psoriasis, my skin started to clear and my confidence came back. This treatment might not be suitable for everyone with severe psoriasis, but I think that it's important that patients at least discuss this option with their doctor".

Latest research has dismissed the preconception that psoriasis is merely a skin complaint, with recent data showing that severe psoriasis can affect a patient's quality of life to a similar extent as other prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes and even heart diseases .

In addition to the impact on a patient's appearance, up to 30% of patients with psoriasis have been reported to have psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. Coinciding with its decision on
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Contact: Jes Lauritzen
jes.lauritzen@ketchum.com
44-207-611-3650
Ketchum
26-Jul-2006


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