A recent study presented at the 29th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress (EADV Virtual) revealed that biologics may decrease the risk of intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization and death among patients with psoriasis. In the study, 1193 adult patients with psoriasis treated with biologic or small molecule therapies were compared with the general population of the Lombardy region in Italy. Data were collected from February 21, 2020 (first COVID-19 case), to April 9, 2020. Findings showed that patients treated with biologic therapies had a higher risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.43; 95% CI, 2.25-5.73), being self-quarantined at home (OR, 9.05; 95% CI, 5.61-14.61), and being hospitalized (unadjusted OR, 3.41; 95% CI, 0.21-8.63). Despite the higher risk of testing positive, the researchers found the risk of being admitted to the ICU (unadjusted OR, 3.59; 95% CI, 0.21-54.55) and of death (unadjusted OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.03-6.59) were not statically significant.
In this video, Giovanni Damiani, MD, discusses the results of this study and its implications for clinical practice.
Dr Damiani is with the department of clinical dermatology at the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi and is a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Milan in Italy.
I’m Dr Giovanni Damiani, and I work in the psoriasis ambulatory in Milan. I would like to share my experience about biologics and COVID-19. So from our findings, biologics and all the target therapies for psoriasis seem to exert a protective effect against COVID-19 severe outcomes, namely ICU admission and death, because they antagonize the main inflammatory cytokines of this cytokine storm that is the last proinflammatory stage of COVID-19 disease. Thus, patients should not stop their biologics, unless [their] dermatologist, case-by-case, will decide differently.