Patient to inventor: How this psoriasis survivor helped invent a treatment drug | Health - Hindustan Times

From patient to inventor; how Ryan Moslin battled psoriasis and helped invent a drug to treat it

By, New Delhi
Aug 18, 2023 11:44 AM IST

Struggling with psoriasis since his teens, Ryan Moslin went on to become part of a team that invented a drug for the disease. Now his symptoms are improving.

Developing a drug for an incurable disease is a remarkable achievement in itself but it's even rarer to witness the inventor benefiting from their own creation and embarking on a journey to recovery. Struggling with psoriasis since his teens, Ryan Moslin at the age of 43 is on cloud 9 seeing his psoriatic lesions getting better and the symptoms becoming more manageable. The autoimmune disease affected him from the time when he was in high school and the struggle continued throughout his growing up years as the rashes progressed from scalp to other areas of his body like torso and legs. However, what makes his journey unique is that he intensified his battle with the disease by helping invent a drug to treat it and now millions of people suffering with this incurable disease may benefit out of this new drug. (Also read: Plaque psoriasis: Causes, symptoms and treatments you must know)

Moslin was in high school when he got diagnosed with the chronic skin condition psoriasis. (Bristol Myers Squibb)
Moslin was in high school when he got diagnosed with the chronic skin condition psoriasis. (Bristol Myers Squibb)

Ryan Moslin's fight with psoriasis

"Moslin was in high school in Canada when his doctor diagnosed him with the chronic skin condition psoriasis. It began with just a few plaques on his scalp. Soon he had flaky patches on his legs, elbows and back. He stopped wearing shorts, and a few years ago jeans became too uncomfortable to wear when the lesions became itchy,“ said a Wall Street Journal report.

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“I’ve had psoriasis for so long now that I don’t know what it would be like not to live with the manifestations,” he said. ⁠ When he decided to get married, Ryan took steroid injections for the nail on his ring finger, because he didn’t want to look down at the symbol of his marriage and think about psoriasis. As the nail grew in with no patches, he said, “I would find myself looking at it and feeling so good just to have that one tiny piece of normal.”

How Moslin went on to become inventor of psoriasis drug

The WSJ report further mentions how Moslin decided to study chemistry in the college and completed postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then joined pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2010 as a senior research scientist. He along with his fellow scientists created and tested more than 6,000 molecules before synthesizing the drug, Sotyktu, in 2013.⁠

Sotyktu got approval by Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of psoriasis last September. Once the approvals were in, Moslin's doctor prescribed the drug to him and the rest was history.⁠

The report further added that Moslin now at the age of 43 is witnessing the shrinking of his lesions have shrunk and shares that they have stopped flaring or itching, and have become manageable.

“It would have been wildly optimistic to believe what happened could happen,” he said. “It didn’t become real until I got my first pills," he said.

Ryan has a unique perspective as both a patient and a researcher. “As a researcher, I want to tell patients, ‘Thank you for being so patient. We are working hard to deliver this and other medicines to help transform lives.’ ”

What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and cause itchy and dry patches. The most common symptom of psoriasis is a rash on the skin; it can also involve nails or joints.

How Sotyktu works for psoriasis

It is an oral treatment for adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It is taken once every day.

Deucravacitinib is a once-daily oral medication with its clinical trials in moderate-to-severe psoriasis demonstrating superior efficacy to apremilast. Deucravacitinib works by selectively inhibiting TYK2, a protein found in immune cells and shown to be central to what causes psoriasis. This medication offers patients with psoriasis who are appropriate for systemic therapy a brand-new option that has very few side effects. Importantly, the results from the studies don’t support the need to follow laboratory tests during therapy," shared Bruce Strober, M.D., Ph.D., a clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and a board-certified dermatologist at Central Connecticut Dermatology Research in Cromwell, Connecticut.

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