What is ALZUMAb? It’s the psoriasis biologic no one in America has heard of

Ever heard of Enbrel? Humira? How about ALZUMAb?

ALZUMAb (drug name itolizumab) is a “humanized anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody” for adults with active moderate to severe psoriasis. It has a different mechanism of action than the biologics available in the US, Europe, and Japan. It’s only available in India, where it launched in 2013.

Developed by an Indian company, Biocon, ALZUMAb is given as an infusion (like Remicade, among others), and offers a lower cost alternative biologic for people in India.
Map of India
It has not pursued approval for the profitable US psoriasis market, probably because its effectiveness doesn’t match that of several other available biologics, limiting its market potential in psoriasis. A US company Equillium, however, has licensed rights to itolizumab from Biocon, and is pursuing itolizumab as a potential treatment for uncontrolled asthma, Graft Versus Host Disease, and lupus nephritis.

Biocon, meanwhile, is planning to test ALZUMAb in COVID-19 in India, and doctors in Cuba are reportedly testing it there as well.

If you have tried everything else, and nothing has helped you – who knows? – ask your doctor to look into ALZUMAb. We hear India is nice this time of year, and flights are inexpensive….

[Last updated: 5/15/2020]