HLA-C*06:02 genotype is a predictive biomarker of biologic treatment response in psoriasis

Nick Dand, Michael Duckworth, David Baudry, Alice Russell, Charles J. Curtis, Sang Hyuck Lee, Ian Evans, Kayleigh J. Mason, Ali Alsharqi, Gabrielle Becher, A. David Burden, Richard G. Goodwin, Kevin McKenna, Ruth Murphy, Gayathri K. Perera, Radu Rotarescu, Shyamal Wahie, Andrew Wright, Nick J. Reynolds, Richard B. WarrenChristopher E.M. Griffiths, Catherine H. Smith, Michael A. Simpson, Jonathan N. Barker

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Biologic therapies can be highly effective for the treatment of severe psoriasis, but response for individual patients can vary according to drug. Predictive biomarkers to guide treatment selection could improve patient outcomes and treatment cost-effectiveness.


We sought to test whether HLA-C*06:02, the primary genetic susceptibility allele for psoriasis, predisposes patients to respond differently to the 2 most commonly prescribed biologics for psoriasis: adalimumab (anti–TNF-α) and ustekinumab (anti–IL-12/23).


This study uses a national psoriasis registry that includes longitudinal treatment and response observations and detailed clinical data. HLA alleles were imputed from genome-wide genotype data for 1326 patients for whom 90% reduction in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score (PASI90) response status was observed after 3, 6, or 12 months of treatment. We developed regression models of PASI90 response, examining the interaction between HLA-C*06:02 and drug type (adalimumab or ustekinumab) while accounting for potentially confounding clinical variables.


HLA-C*06:02–negative patients were significantly more likely to respond to adalimumab than ustekinumab at all time points (most strongly at 6 months: odds ratio [OR], 2.95; P = 5.85 × 10−7), and the difference was greater in HLA-C*06:02–negative patients with psoriatic arthritis (OR, 5.98; P = 6.89 × 10−5). Biologic-naive patients who were HLA-C*06:02 positive and psoriatic arthritis negative demonstrated significantly poorer response to adalimumab at 12 months (OR, 0.31; P = 3.42 × 10−4). Results from HLA-wide analyses were consistent with HLA-C*06:02 itself being the primary effect allele. We found no evidence for genetic interaction between HLA-C*06:02 and ERAP1.


This large observational study suggests that reference to HLA-C*06:02 status could offer substantial clinical benefit when selecting treatments for severe psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2120-2130
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Early online date20 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • psoriasis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • biologic therapy
  • genetics
  • pharmacogenetics
  • treatment response
  • HLA
  • adalimumab
  • ustekinumab
  • skin disease


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