The precise cause of psoriasis is not known but a number of factors, such as skin injury and infection, are thought to trigger outbreaks. T-cells become activated, leading to an acceleration of the normal replacement processes of the skin and an accumulation of skin cells as plaques on the surface of the skin. First line treatments include emollients and topical application of drugs such as vitamin D derivatives, coal tar preparations, steroids, vitamin A derivatives and dithranol. For refractory cases, retinoids or immunosuppressants may be prescribed. A recent study shows that the selective PKC inhibitor, AEB071, may become a new therapeutic option for the treatment of psoriasis. At a dose of 300 mg bid, AEB071 was well tolerated and improved the symptoms of psoriasis within a 2-week treatment period.
AEB071 is also undergoing clinical trials in kidney and liver transplant patients.