Affiliation: Adnan Menderes University Department of Dermatology, Aydin, Turkey.
Efalizumab is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody designed to selectively and reversibly block the activation, reactivation and trafficking of T-cells that lead to the development of psoriasis. It has been approved in the US in 2003 and in Europe in 2004 for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis for whom other systemic treatments or phototherapy have been inadequate or inappropriate. The currently suggested dose of 1mg/kg/wk has been shown to have significant therapeutic effect on psoriasis in several controlled trials. Efalizumab has a favorable safety and tolerability profile and provides dermatologists with a effective and safe treatment alternative. The solution to the conflict which is between the currently high cost of this drug and its suggested continuous use for long-term psoriasis control will dictate the future of efalizumab.