Advances in the understanding of TNF-α and IL-17 synergistic functions have recently led to the concept that patients who do not respond or who respond inadequately to TNF-α inhibitors may have IL-17-driven diseases, opening up the way for a new class of therapeutic development: Th17-inhibitors. Areas covered: In this review, the authors discuss the central role that the IL-23/Th17 axis plays in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, highlighting its position as a relevant therapeutic target. In particular, the authors start by giving a brief historical excursus on biologic agent development up until the success of TNF-α inhibitors, and continue with an overview of IL12/23 pathway inhibition. Next, they describe Th17 cell biology, focusing on the role of IL-17 in host defense and in human immune-inflammatory diseases, discussing the use and side effects of IL-17 inhibitors. Expert opinion: The IL-23/Th17 signaling pathway plays a central role in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis. Recent data has demonstrated that biologics neutralizing IL-17 (ixekizumab, secukinumab) or its receptor (brodalumab) are highly effective with a positive safety profile in treating moderate to severe psoriasis, offering new treatment possibilities, especially for patients who do not respond adequately to anti-TNF-α therapies.
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