Efficacy and safety of risankizumab vs. secukinumab in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (IMMerge): results from a phase III, randomized, open-label, efficacy-assessor-blinded clinical trial

Br J Dermatol. 2021 Jan;184(1):50-59. doi: 10.1111/bjd.19341. Epub 2020 Sep 6.


Background: Patients with plaque psoriasis treated with biologic therapies need more efficacious, safe and convenient treatments to improve quality of life. Risankizumab and secukinumab inhibit interleukin-23 and interleukin-17A, respectively, and are effective in adult patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis but have different dosing regimens.

Objectives: To compare directly the efficacy and safety of risankizumab vs. secukinumab over 52 weeks.

Methods: IMMerge was an international, phase III, multicentre, open-label, efficacy-assessor-blinded, active-comparator study, in which adult patients with chronic, moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis were randomized in a 1 : 1 ratio to treatment with risankizumab 150 mg or secukinumab 300 mg. Primary efficacy endpoints were the proportions of patients achieving ≥ 90% improvement from baseline in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 90) at week 16 (noninferiority comparison with margin of 12%) and week 52 (superiority comparison).

Results: In total 327 patients from nine countries were treated with risankizumab (n = 164) or secukinumab (n = 163). Risankizumab was noninferior to secukinumab in the proportion of patients achieving PASI 90 at week 16 [73·8% vs. 65·6%; difference of 8·2%, 96·25% confidence interval (CI)-2·2 to 18·6; within the 12% noninferiority margin] and superior to secukinumab at week 52 (86·6% vs. 57·1%; difference of 29·8%, 95% CI 20·8-38·8; P < 0·001), thus meeting both primary endpoints. All secondary endpoints (PASI 100, static Physician's Global Assessment 0 or 1, and PASI 75) at week 52 demonstrated superiority for risankizumab vs. secukinumab (P < 0·001). No new safety concerns were identified.

Conclusions: At week 52, risankizumab demonstrated superior efficacy and similar safety with less frequent dosing compared with secukinumab.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • risankizumab
  • secukinumab

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