Causaly vs PubMed®: 2x as many relevant articles identified by Causaly using the same data

Anna Tzani
published on November 18, 2020


Medical Affairs, Regulatory and Pharmacovigilance experts are interested in identifying all the available evidence related to a drug’s safety profile. In order to accurately conduct a drug safety assessment, the relevance of results is pivotal, given the vast amount of data sources and time limitations.

A case study was conducted to compare Causaly and PubMed as resources for investigating the effects of Natalizumab on Psoriasis. The analysis compares the two platforms with respect to the number and relevance of articles retrieved.

Causaly identifies 2x as many articles, including all the PubMed articles, and more relevant results.

Effects of Natalizumab on Psoriasis: Causaly vs PubMed®

The gold standard treatment for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is Natalizumab, however its approval has been temporarily suspended in the past, due to its implication in the pathogenesis of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) (1). More recently, the potential involvement of Natalizumab in the development of Psoriasis has been reported, a side effect that has not been identified in the pivotal clinical trials (2,3).

We explored all the interactions between Natalizumab and Psoriasis in the Causaly platform and in PubMed (4).

The amount of evidence found in Causaly was 59 articles, which is approximately 2x the results obtained from PubMed (28 results in total). All 28 PubMed articles were also found in Causaly, while 31 articles were found only in Causaly (Figure 1).


Figure 1: The number of articles on the two platforms and in total. Causaly identified 59 articles, including the 28 articles found in PubMed. All the relevant PubMed articles were part of the Causaly results.

From the 31 additional articles that were only included in Causaly, 60% (18 out of 31) are relevant and explain the observed association between Natalizumab and Psoriasis (Figure 2). The remaining 40% may be useful in identifying the underlying mechanisms of psoriatic pathogenesis after Natalizumab administration and refer to one of the following:

  • Natalizumab-induced adverse events (excluding Psoriasis) and their associated mechanisms
  • Psoriatic pathogenesis as a side effect of another licensed antibody
  • Mediators of the development of Psoriasis without linking the disease with Natalizumab or MS
    Figure 2: The number and relevance of results in Causaly.

Apart from the evidence points relating Natalizumab and Psoriasis directly, indirect associations, that may be of interest, were also identified. For example, we discovered that Natalizumab increases IL17A secretion, an interleukin with a well known pathogenic role in Psoriasis (Figure 3) (5).

Figure 3: An evidence point relating natalizumab with IL17A.


Drug safety assessments are ongoing processes that require a lot of investigation time and effort.

Causaly AI finds more relevant articles than PubMed alone, using its advanced machine-reading technology.

Therefore, using Causaly’s AI technology, Medical Affairs departments, Pharmacovigilance officers and Regulatory experts can keep up-to-date with recent publications and perform a holistic and accurate evaluation of drug safety profiles.


  1. TaŞKapilioĞLu Ö. Recent Advances in the Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis; Current New Drugs Specific for Multiple Sclerosis. Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2018;55(Suppl 1):S15-S20.
  2. Lambrianides S et al. Does Natalizumab Induce or Aggravate Psoriasis? A Case Study and Review of the Literature. Case reports in neurology. 2018; 10(3):286-291.
  3. Polman CH et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of natalizumab for relapsing multiple sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2006;354(9):899-910.
  4. The search strategy in PubMed included the keywords “Natalizumab AND Psoriasis”. The results excluded the article type “books and documents”, by using the filters on the left.
  5. Furue M et al. Interleukin-17A and Keratinocytes in Psoriasis. Int J Mol Sci. 2020; 21(4): 1275.

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