AS2762900-00, a potent anti-human IL-23 receptor monoclonal antibody, prevents epidermal hyperplasia in a psoriatic human skin xenograft model.


Drug Discovery Research, Astellas Pharma Inc., 21 Miyukigaoka, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8585, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Interleukin (IL)-23 is thought to be critical in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, and anti-IL-23 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been approved for the treatment of psoriasis. We speculated that an anti-IL-23 receptor mAb might have greater efficacy than an anti-IL-23 mAb in the treatment of local inflamed lesions with high IL-23 levels. We previously generated an anti-human IL-23 receptor mAb, AS2762900-00, which potently blocked IL-23-induced cell proliferation, regardless of the concentration of IL-23. Here, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of AS2762900-00 in the treatment of psoriasis. Compared with untreated control, AS2762900-00 significantly reduced the epidermal thickness of lesions in a clinically relevant psoriatic human skin xenograft model. The expression of inflammatory genes including genes downstream of IL-23 signaling in the lesion tended to be lower in the AS2762900-00 group than the untreated group, suggesting that the inhibitory effects of AS2762900-00 in the psoriatic human skin xenograft model might occur via blockade of IL-23 signaling pathways. Further, AS2762900-00 showed an inhibitory effect on signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation as a downstream signal of IL-23 receptor activation in whole blood from patients with psoriasis. We also confirmed that AS2762900-00 inhibited IL-23-induced STAT3 phosphorylation in a concentration-dependent manner using whole blood from healthy donors. These data suggest that AS2762900-00 is a promising drug candidate for the treatment of psoriasis. In addition, STAT3 phosphorylation in whole blood may be a useful biomarker for the evaluation of the pharmacodynamic effects of AS2762900-00 in healthy volunteers in clinical development.


Interleukin-23 receptor monoclonal antibody,Pharmacodynamic marker,Psoriasis,Psoriatic human skin xenograft model,STAT3 phosphorylation,Th17,