Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1991, 56, 945-953

The chemotherapy of psoriasis with azaribine: Mirage or miracle

William Drella, Jan Škodab and Arnold D. Welchc

a UR Labs, Inc., San Diego, California 92037, U.S.A.
b Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechoslovakia
c Scientist-emeritus, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20205, U.S.A.


An antimetabolite, administered orally, which alleviates the symptoms and signs of severe psoriasis, azaribine (triacetyl-6-azauridine), was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA of the USA) for clinical use in 1975, but 18 months later approval was withdrawn. The mechanism of action of azaribine (as a precursor of 6-azauridine 5’-azauridine 5’-monophosphate) is described and the probable cause of the infrequent vascular thromboses and a means of preventing them (by the co-administration of pyridoxine) are discussed.