Mechanism of Action Study for Psoriasis (MOA)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00932113
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 3, 2009
Results First Posted : July 2, 2017
Last Update Posted : August 31, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Tufts Medical Center

Brief Summary:
The objective of this study is to compare the mechanism of action between adalimumab and methotrexate in subjects with psoriasis.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Psoriasis Drug: Methotrexate Drug: Adalimumab (Humira) Phase 4

Detailed Description:

Both methotrexate and adalimumab are FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. The two treatments, methotrexate and adalimumab, both show efficacy for psoriasis, however their profiles differ. In the CHAMPION Study, more adalimumab-treated, moderate to severe psoriasis patients achieved a PASI 75 after 16 weeks compared to those treated with methotrexate (80% vs. 36%). The reason for this difference is poorly understood. No direct comparative mechanism of action studies in psoriasis patients between methotrexate and adalimumab (or any tumor necrosis factor blocker) has been reported.

With etanercept, another tumor necrosis factor blocker, the in vivo mechanism has been studied with some scientific rigor. These studies demonstrate that etanercept down regulates multiple pro-inflammatory pathways (as shown in Table 1 of the protocol).

To date, there are no similar studies with adalimumab or methotrexate.

In order to understand the molecular and cellular basis for the differential clinical efficacy of adalimumab and methotrexate, it is essential to compare their mechanisms of action in psoriatic plaques. Biopsies will be performed, and we will study biomarkers in this proposal with immunohistochemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and gene arrays.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 33 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: An Investigator-Initiated, Assessor Blinded, Randomized Study Comparing the Mechanism of Action of Adalimumab to Methotrexate in Subjects With Moderate to Severe Chronic Plaque Psoriasis.
Study Start Date : June 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : May 1, 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Psoriasis

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Adalimumab
Dosing will be on day 1 and then weekly. For the injections, dosing will occur according to product recommendations. Patients will receive 80mg adalimumab (2 pre-filled syringes, each with 40mg) on day 1, and then 40mg on week 1 and then every 2 weeks (from week 1 through week 15).
Drug: Adalimumab (Humira)
2 cohorts (Randomized 1:1 adalimumab:methotrexate). Subjects will receive treatment on Day 1 (baseline visit) and then weekly or every 2 weeks for 16 weeks.
Other Name: Humira

Active Comparator: Methotrexate (MTX)
Patients will be dosed according to the CHAMPION study in single weekly doses of methotrexate: 7.5mg at week 0, 10mg at week two, and 15mg at week 4 for all patients. For each subject if the PASI did not decrease by at least 50% from baseline (PASI-50) at week 8, dosing will be increased to 20mg per week; the dose will be maintained at 15mg per week if PASI-50 was achieved at week 8. If PASI-50 was not achieved at week 12, dosing will be increased to 25mg per week; the dose will be maintained at 20mg per week if the PASI-50 was achieved at week 12. All patients on methotrexate will also receive a dietary supplement of oral folate (5mg per week). Methotrexate-treated patients will then receive 16 weeks of adalimumab at the end of study.
Drug: Methotrexate

2 cohorts (Randomized 1:1 adalimumab:methotrexate). Subjects will receive treatment on Day 1 (baseline visit) and then weekly or every 2 weeks for 16 weeks.

Methotrexate-treated patients will then receive 16 weeks of adalimumab at the end of study.

Other Names:
  • Methotrexate (MTX)
  • Folic Acid

Drug: Adalimumab (Humira)
2 cohorts (Randomized 1:1 adalimumab:methotrexate). Subjects will receive treatment on Day 1 (baseline visit) and then weekly or every 2 weeks for 16 weeks.
Other Name: Humira

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Biologic Activity Endpoints [ Time Frame: Weeks 0, 1, 2, 4 and 16 ]
    Histologic and Immunohistochemistry endpoints; Relative messenger RNA gene expression (normalized to HARP); and Gene Arrays.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Clinical Endpoints for Psoriasis: PASI 75 [ Time Frame: Weeks 0 and week 16 ]
    PASI 75 is the percent of subjects who experience an improvement in PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) score of at least 75% from their baseline PASI score.

  2. Clinical Endpoints for Psoriasis: Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) Clear or Almost Clear (PGA 0-1) [ Time Frame: Week 0 and Week 16 ]
  3. Clinical Endpoints for Psoriasis: % Body Surface Area [ Time Frame: Week 0 and week 16 ]
  4. Clinical Endpoints for Psoriasis: Target Lesion Score [ Time Frame: Week 0 and Week 16 ]
    The lesion score of a single psoriatic plaque selected at baseline. Total range is 0 - 12 with 0 being clear and 12 representing the most severe disease. The target lesion score is composed of scale, erythema, and induration, each parameter is scored 0 (clear) through 4 (very severe). Totals are summed for target lesion score. S+E+I = TLS

  5. Clinical Endpoints for Psoriasis: Photography Completed [ Time Frame: Week 0 and Week 16 ]

Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Additional Gene Analysis (Ongoing) [ Time Frame: long-term follow-up visit 4- 6 years post end of study ]
    A single, long-term follow-up visit will be done for all available subjects for additional pharmacogenetic analysis. The goal in collecting DNA from psoriasis patients is to determine if individual subjects have gene variants associated with increased incidence of psoriasis. The investigators plan on analyzing variants using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis by high-throughput DNA sequencing. This patient genetic information may allow us to correctly interpret data collected about gene expression levels in affected or non-affected skin. Additionally genetic typing may lead to cogent personalized health care (PHC) strategies for the identification of psoriasis drug responders/non-responders, patients who achieve durable disease remission post-treatment, and/or pharmacodynamic markers, as examples.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adults 18-85 years of age with moderate to severe psoriasis, in general good health as determined by the PI based upon the results of medical history, laboratory profile, and physical examination, and who are candidates for systemic or phototherapy
  • Presence of a psoriatic plaque of >2cm in an area which can be biopsied repeatedly.
  • Men must agree to avoid impregnating a woman while on this study.
  • Women are eligible to participate in the study if they meet one of the following criteria:

    • Women who are postmenopausal (>1 year), sterile, or hysterectomized
    • Women of childbearing potential must undergo monthly pregnancy testing during the study and agree to use two of the following methods of contraception throughout and for 60 days after the last dose of study drug:

      • Oral contraceptives
      • Transdermal contraceptives
      • Injectable or implantable methods
      • Intrauterine devices
      • Barrier methods (diaphragm or condom with spermicide)
      • Abstinence and Tubal Ligation are also considered a form of Birth control

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients <18 or >85 years old
  • Absence of a psoriatic plaque >2cm in diameter
  • Active guttate, erythrodermic, or pustular psoriasis at the time of the screening visit
  • Evidence of skin conditions at screening (e.g. eczema) that would interfere with evaluations of the effect of study medication
  • Inability to understand the consent process
  • Receipt of any investigational drugs, psoralen+ultraviolet A or oral systemic treatments within 4 weeks of study drug initiation
  • Biologics within 3 months of study initiation
  • Topical steroids, topical vitamin A or D analog preparations, Ultraviolet B therapy or anthralin within 2 weeks of study drug initiation. (Exception-stable regimen of class I-II topical steroids on scalp, axillae, and groin)
  • Methotrexate within 6 weeks of study initiation
  • History of treatment with adalimumab
  • History of primary non-response to methotrexate, infliximab or etanercept
  • History of discontinuation of methotrexate or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker for a safety-related reason that makes it unwise to restart either type of drug
  • Any internal malignancy within 5 years (excluding fully excised cutaneous basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma)
  • Pregnancy, not practicing effective birth control, or inability to practice safe sex during the length of the study
  • Lactation
  • Subjects who have known hypersensitivity to adalimumab or methotrexate or any of its components or who is known to have antibodies to etanercept
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse one year before and during the study
  • Known HIV-positive status or any other immune-suppressing disease
  • Presence of a grade 3 or 4 infection <30 days prior to the screening visit, between the screening visit and the first day of treatment on study, or any time during the study that in the opinion of the PI would preclude participation in the study
  • Any grade 3 or 4 adverse event, or laboratory toxicity, at the time of the screening visit or at any time during the study, which in the opinion of the PI would, preclude participation in the study

    • Serum creatinine >3.0 mg/dL (265 micromoles/L)
    • Serum potassium <3.5 mmol/L or > 5.5 mmol/L
    • Serum alanine aminotransferase or aspartate aminotransferase >3 times the upper limit of normal for the lab
    • Platelet count <100,000/mm3
    • White blood cell count <3,000/mm3
    • Hgb, Hct, or red blood cell outside 30% of the upper or lower limits of normal for the Lab
  • Receipt of live vaccines 1 month prior to or while on study
  • History of tuberculosis, and/or a positive PPD skin test/chest x-ray at screening without appropriate treatment-treatment of latent tuberculosis (for those with positive PPD tests) must be initiated prior to therapy with adalimumab or methotrexate
  • Chronic hepatitis B or C infection, history of multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, optic neuritis or epilepsy

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00932113

United States, Massachusetts
Tufts Medical Center, Department of Dermatology
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02111
Sponsors and Collaborators
Tufts Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Alice B. Gottlieb, M.D., PhD. Tufts Medical Center, Department of Dermatology

Publications of Results:
Other Publications:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Tufts Medical Center Identifier: NCT00932113     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MOA
ABT 08-030 ( Other Grant/Funding Number: AbbVie )
First Posted: July 3, 2009    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: July 2, 2017
Last Update Posted: August 31, 2017
Last Verified: August 2017
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Keywords provided by Tufts Medical Center:
tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor
tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockade

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Folic Acid Antagonists
Skin Diseases, Papulosquamous
Skin Diseases
Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
Abortifacient Agents
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antineoplastic Agents
Dermatologic Agents
Enzyme Inhibitors
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Antirheumatic Agents
Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
Anti-Inflammatory Agents