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Randomized Trial Replication Using Observational Data for Comparative Effectiveness of Secukinumab and Ustekinumab in Psoriasis: A Study from the British Association of Dermatologists Biologics and Immunomodulators Register

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Philip Hampton, Professor Nick ReynoldsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. Importance: Treatments for psoriasis may be less effective in everyday practice than in clinical trials. Emulating a target trial using data from the British Association of Dermatologists Biologics and Immunomodulators Register (BADBIR) can provide treatment effect estimates that are robust and can inform both clinicians and regulatory bodies. Objectives: To assess the comparative effectiveness of ustekinumab and secukinumab in patients with psoriasis, and to test whether the relative effectiveness estimate of the CLEAR trial, a randomized clinical trial that compared secukinumab with ustekinumab for psoriasis, can be replicated. Design, Setting, and Participants: This comparative effectiveness research study used a target trial emulation approach and was performed between November 2007 and August 2019. Data were obtained from BADBIR, a multicenter longitudinal pharmacovigilance register of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Participants had chronic plaque psoriasis, were 18 years or older, and had at least 1 record of a Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) of 12 or higher before their initiation to secukinumab or ustekinumab. Propensity score (PS) 1:1 matched analysis and inverse probability treatment weighted analysis were performed. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were the risk ratio (RR) and the risk difference (RD) for achieving PASI of 2 or lower after 12 months of therapy for secukinumab compared with ustekinumab. Methods to account for missing outcome data were complete case analysis, nonresponder imputation, last observation carried forward, inverse probability of censoring weighting, and multiple imputation. Regulatory and estimate agreement metrics were used to benchmark the effect estimates in this study against those in the CLEAR trial. Results: A total of 1231 patients were included in the analysis, with 917 receiving ustekinumab and 314 receiving secukinumab. Secukinumab was superior to ustekinumab in all analyses, except under the nonresponder imputation method, in the proportion of participants achieving a PASI of 2 or lower (PS-weighted complete case analysis: RR, 1.28 [95% CI, 1.06-1.55]; RD, 11.9% [1.6-22.1]). All analyses, except for nonresponder imputation, reached regulatory agreement in both PS-matching and PS-weighted analyses. Conclusions and Relevance: This comparative effectiveness study found that secukinumab resulted in more patients achieving a PASI of 2 or lower after 12 months of therapy compared with ustekinumab in patients with psoriasis. Target trial emulation in this study resulted in regulatory and estimate agreement with the CLEAR randomized clinical trial; further such studies may help fill the evidence gap when comparing other systemic therapies for psoriasis..

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yiu ZZN, Mason KJ, Hampton PJ, Reynolds NJ, Smith CH, Lunt M, Griffiths CEM, Warren RB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: JAMA Dermatology

Year: 2021

Volume: 157

Issue: 1

Pages: 66-73

Print publication date: 01/01/2021

Online publication date: 02/12/2020

Acceptance date: 06/09/2020

Date deposited: 26/07/2021

ISSN (print): 2168-6068

ISSN (electronic): 2168-6084

Publisher: American Medical Association


DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.4202

PubMed id: 33263718


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Funder referenceFunder name
NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre
NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre