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Monoclonal antibody
TypeWhole antibody
Trade namesTremfya
Clinical data
Main usesPlaque psoriasis[1][2]
Side effectsUpper respiratory tract infections, headache, joint pain, liver problems, decreased effectiveness of vaccines[3]
  • AU: B1
Routes of
External links
License data
Legal status
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass143561.59 g·mol−1

Guselkumab, sold under the brand name Tremfya, is a medication used to treat plaque psoriasis.[1][2] It is used for moderate to severe disease.[1] It is given by injection under the skin.[1]

Common side effects include upper respiratory tract infections.[1] Other side effects may include infection, headache, joint pain, liver problems, and decreased effectiveness of vaccines.[3] Safety in pregnancy is unclear.[3] It is a monoclonal antibody which attaches to and blocks interleukin-23.[1]

Guselkumab was approved for medical use in the United States and Europe in 2017.[3][1] In the United Kingdom it costs the NHS about £2,250 per 100 mg as of 2021.[8] This amount in the United States is about 11,600 USD.[9]

Medical uses

Guselkumab is used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis in adults.[7]


Guselkumab is provided as a subcutaneous injection of 100 mg given every eight weeks (except for the second dose, which is given four weeks after the first dose).[1]

Side effects

Because guselkumab lowers the release of immune system signalling molecules, patients may have a higher risk of getting infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungi.[10] For this reason, people with psoriasis being considered for treatment with guselkumab must be screened for tuberculosis infection prior to treatment with guselkumab.[10]

The most common side effects for guselkumab are upper respiratory tract infections, headache, injection site reactions, joint pain, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, fungal skin infections and herpes simplex infections.[11] As guselkumab is a new medicine, the long term effects are not fully understood.[12]


Mechanism of action

Guselkumab targets the IL-23 subunit alpha (p19 subunit)[13] preventing it from binding to cell receptors that would otherwise be activated by its presence.[14]


  • Cmax 8.09 µg/mL
  • tmax 5.5 days
  • volume of distribution 13.5 L
  • apparent clearance 0.516 L/day[14]

Society and culture


Guselkumab was developed by Janssen Global Services, LLC.[15] In November 2016, Janssen submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the FDA seeking approval of guselkumab.[16]

In July 2017, Janssen gained US FDA approval to market guselkumab for treatment of plaque psoriasis.[17]

In April 2018, Guselkumab was approved in Japan for the treatment psoriatic arthritis.[18]

In July 2020, the FDA approved as the first IL-23 inhibitor to treat active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in the USA. [19][20]

Guselkumab is manufactured by Janssen Sciences Ireland UC in Cork, Ireland.[21]


The list price of each 100 mg dose (to be given once every two months) is about $10,000.[22]


During development, guselkumab was referred to as CNTO-1959.[14] Guselkumab has undergone phase 3 clinical trials comparing it with adalimumab (Humira) and ustekinumab (Stelara).[15]

The safety and efficacy of guselkumab was compared to a placebo and to adalimumab in the "VOYAGE 1" and "VOYAGE 2" phase 3 clinical trials ( IDs: NCT02207231 and NCT02207231).[12] Preliminary results indicated that a significantly higher proportion of patients taking guselkumab had better skin clearance compared to those taking the other treatments. At week 16, 73.3% of patients taking guselkumab achieved a PASI 90 (90% reduction in PASI score from baseline), vs 49.7% of those taking adalimumab; additionally, 91.2% of patients taking guselkumab achieved a PASI 75 (75% reduction in PASI score from baseline), vs 73.1% of those taking adalimumab.[12]

The phase III clinical trial "NAVIGATE" ( ID: NCT02203032) included only patients who had poor responses to treatment with ustekinumab. It showed that patients who switched to guselkumab from ustekinumab did better than those who remained on ustekinumab.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Tremfya". Archived from the original on 22 November 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Guselkumab". LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. June 2018. PMID 31643594.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Guselkumab Monograph for Professionals". Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  4. "Tremfya (Guselkumab) Australian Product Information". Department of Health, Therapeutic Goods Administration. The Australian Government. Archived from the original on 2021-06-13. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  5. "European Medicines Agency". European Medicines Agency {EMA). Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  6. "Tremfya 100 mg solution for injection in pre-filled pen - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC)". (emc). 1 November 2020. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Tremfya- guselkumab injection". DailyMed. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  8. BNF 81: March-September 2021. BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. 2021. p. 1302. ISBN 978-0857114105.
  9. "Guselkumab Prices, Coupons & Savings Tips - GoodRx". GoodRx. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Guselkumab Injection". MedlinePlus Drug Information. Archived from the original on 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  11. "TREMFYA". Drug Approvals and Databases > Drug Trials Snapshots. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 3 August 2017. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Nakamura M, Lee K, Jeon C, Sekhon S, Afifi L, Yan D, et al. (September 2017). "Guselkumab for the Treatment of Psoriasis: A Review of Phase III Trials". Dermatology and Therapy. 7 (3): 281–292. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0187-0. PMC 5574739. PMID 28639011.
  13. Oppmann B, Lesley R, Blom B, Timans JC, Xu Y, Hunte B, et al. (November 2000). "Novel p19 protein engages IL-12p40 to form a cytokine, IL-23, with biological activities similar as well as distinct from IL-12". Immunity. 13 (5): 715–25. doi:10.1016/S1074-7613(00)00070-4. PMID 11114383.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Markham A (September 2017). "Guselkumab: First Global Approval". Drugs. 77 (13): 1487–1492. doi:10.1007/s40265-017-0800-7. PMID 28819723. S2CID 35810454.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Janssen Wins FDA Approval for Plaque Psoriasis Treatment Tremfya". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 14 July 2017. Archived from the original on 31 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  16. "Janssen Submits Application to EMA Seeking Approval of Anti-Interleukin-23 Monoclonal Antibody Guselkumab for the Treament of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis". Janssen. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  17. "Novel Drug Approvals for 2017". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 25 January 2021. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  18. "MorphoSys' licensee Janssen receives Japanese approval for Tremfya to treat moderate to severe forms of psoriasis & psoriatic arthritis". Archived from the original on 2021-04-29. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  19. "FDA approves Tremfya (guselkumab) for psoriatic arthritis". Archived from the original on 2020-07-15. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  20. "DGAP-News: MororphoSys's Licensee Janssen Announces Approval of Tremfya (Guselkumab) by U.S. FDA for Treatment of Adults with Active Psoriatic Arthritis". 2020-07-14. Archived from the original on 2021-04-29. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  21. "Guselkumab BLA Approval Letter" (PDF). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-10-12. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  22. Helfand C (13 July 2017). "Johnson & Johnson's Tremfya gets its go-ahead to fight Novartis, Lilly in psoriasis. Can it stand out?". Fierce Pharma. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021.

External links

  • "Guselkumab". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Archived from the original on 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2021-10-10.