The European Experience of Soratinex
Dermatologists have been using and researching Soratinex (known on the Continent as ‘Dr Michaels’) for more than a decade. An analysis of eight studies involving 2,050 patients (see below) found that 85 per cent enjoyed an improvement in their symptoms of between 51 and 100 per cent.
Professor Anthony Chu, who recently retired as Senior Consultant in Dermatology at Imperial Healthcare Trust, Hammersmith and Ealing Hospitals, was lead clinician for the efficacy trial of Soratinex in the UK. He was still in post when the trial began. He is also Medical Director at the West London Dermatology Centre.
He says: ‘I have been hugely impressed by the results - in some cases the improvements were quite miraculous.
‘Nearly all patients experienced some improvement, but 60 per cent experienced an improvement in their condition of more than 50 per cent. In terms of well-being, almost half said their quality of life had improved by between 76 and 100 per cent, and we recorded no negative side-effects.
‘These are results that should be attracting the attention of the NHS and I will be sending in our results before the end of the year.
‘Psoriasis is typically treated with topical creams, many of which include steroids of various strengths, and over prolonged periods they can damage the skin. The more serious cases are treated with systemic drugs, more powerful hospital-based prescr
‘And finally, for very serious cases, biologics, protein-based drugs that are grown from cell cultures in the laboratory and are delivered by subcutaneous injection. Some people are scared of going on to these types of medication as they work by targeting the immune system.
‘So to have a topical treatment that works in patients for whom other topicals have failed is absolutely fantastic. In some cases, patients who had been suffering from psoriasis for years, and for whom all other treatments had failed, symptoms went away almost completely.
‘This is something that has not been there before, and for patients who have not had positive experiences with the usual drugs it offers new hope.
‘It is normal for us all to herald new things because they give us extra strings to our bow. The fact that Soratinex does not contain cortico-steroids is particularly exciting because a lot of patients are scared of their long-term use - and if they aren’t then they should be.
‘Prolonged use of topical steroids can be very damaging to the skin, resulting in thinning and fragility. Because they can be absorbed, in some cases they can cause changes in blood pressure and internal side effects, including decreased growth in children and Cushing’s Syndrome.
‘The cost compares favourably with traditional hospital based treatments for severe psoriasis such as such as Ciclosporine, which can cost around £2,000 a year, Methotrexate from £2-300 a year and biologics (cellular treatments grown in the lab) for the most severe cases, which can cost up to £14,000 a year. These treatment require regular hospital visits and regular blood tests.
‘Not every psoriasis treatment works for every patient but I have seen enough of my patients improve by using Soratinex when all else has failed that I would feel comfortable recommending it to other dermatologists.’
Dr Benedetta Brazzini, who conducted the trial with Professor Chu, is a locum Consultant Dermatologist at Ealing Hospital in West London. She also consults at the Marylebone Clinic in Harley Street. She first encountered Soratinex while working in Italy.
She says: ‘We were aware of quite large studies of Soratinex in Europe that had reported remarkable results, and so decided to set up a small study of our own.
‘To begin with I was a bit sceptical and thought Soratinex was something that would either not work, or at best would simply have the effect of being a good moisturiser. For our study, the patients tended to have more severe forms of psoriasis, and most had suffered with it over long periods of time and had tried other forms of treatment with varying degrees of success.
‘The results we achieved were amazing, with most patients improving to some degree, but with 60 per cent enjoying improvements on the PASI scale of between 51 and 100 per cent.
‘We were pleasantly surprised, especially when you consider that in this and previous trials there has been no record of any significant side effects. The patients were very grateful and very happy with the results.’
Professor Torello Lotti, Professor and Chair of Dermatology at the University of Rome G.Marconi, has collaborated in studies of Soratinex with clinicians and academics from Italy, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia and other countries for more than 15 years.
He says: ‘I am pleased that the UK clinical trial conducted by Professor Chu and Dr Brazzini have concluded with results very similar to these previous studies. We have repeatedly found that Soratinex performs at least as well as the established and more powerul systemic treatments, yet because it contains no corticosteroids there is no risk of side effects, which means it can also be used to treat children and pregnant women.
‘The effects of psoriasis can be very debilitating. Those affected think that they have the choice of either using powerful and potent medication every day that can act as a poison over time, or of not using them and suffering.
‘I think now we have something that can work for them but without the side-effects.’
His relevant research can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=lotti+t+%2C+tirant+m+
Full body of research here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=lotti+t+
Professor Jana Hercogová, former President of the European Academy of Dermatology, currently Chairwoman of the Dermatovenereology Department of Charles University, Prague, has had experience of Soratinex dating back more than 10 years.
She says: ‘When FRANKL Pharma first asked me to try the treatment, I was sceptical but eventually I tried it on a child with proriasis of the scalp. Everything else had failed, but this cleared it up. Then I tried it on another patient, then another and the results were very encouraging.
‘Between 2005 and 2008, 203 patients in 10 hospitals across the Czech Republic were treated with [Soratinex] and we saw improvements in around 80 per cent of all patients. I would not use it in severe cases where most of the body is covered in lesions because it is a three-part treatment and this makes it impractical.
‘But in cases of plaque psoriasis with symptoms ranging from mild to moderate – which is about 80 per cent of all cases – then I would recommend Soratinex. It is unbelievably effective.’
Her relevant research can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=hercegova+j+dr+michaels
Full body of research here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=hercogova+j
Professor Uwe Wollina, Head of the Department of Dermatology at the Academic Teaching Hospital, Dresden, is currently conducting Germany’s first efficacy trials of Soratinex. He first had experience of the treatment two years ago.
He says: ‘Our trial is with 25 patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It began in the summer and is due to finish soon and the results we are seeing are incredible. In 90 per cent of patients, symptoms have improved by 51 to 100 per cent.
‘The treatment is self-usable by the patient, so that provides more autonomy and it is proving very, very safe – the only side effect we have seen is a mild stinging sensation.
‘The results are comparable with the most successful corticosteroids and are miles ahead of any other non-steroidal topical treatment on the market. And the most interesting fact is that while steroid treatments can produce good results in three to four weeks, we are seeing the best improvements with Soratinex in the first two weeks.’
His relevant research can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?linkname=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=27498651
His full body of research here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=wollina+uwe