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Cosentyx has big impact on psoriasis, says Novartis

New data shows it to achieve clear or almost clear skin

Novartis building 

Novartis' new psoriasis therapy Cosentyx has outperformed a rival drug from Johnson & Johnson in achieving clear or almost clear skin, according to new data.

Cosentyx (secukinumab) is leading the field among a new class of psoriasis therapies called the interleukin-17 inhibitors, and data from Novartis' phase III trials programme give it a clinical edge over J&J's fast-growing IL-12 and IL-23 inhibitor Stelara (ustekinumab), which brought in $1.3bn in sales last year.

The results from the CLEAR trial have already shown that Cosentyx clears psoriasis lesions more effectively than Stelara after 16 weeks' therapy, but new data from an extension of the pivotal FIXTURE and ERASURE studies, indicate Novartis is still the better option after two years. In the FIXTURE study, 72% of patients had clear skin at this timepoint with Cosentyx compared to just 31% of the Enbrel group.

Meanwhile, CLEAR also is the first trial to use 90% clearance of lesions (known as a PASI 90 score) as a main outcome measure, along with 100% clearance (PASI 100), which are considered optimal responses to drug treatment providing sizeable relief to patients.

Earlier this year Cosentyx became the first IL-17 inhibitor to be approved for marketing after getting a green light in Japan for psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis, shortly followed by approvals in both Europe and the US as a first-line treatment for adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. 

Since then, it has also been given the nod in Switzerland, Chile, Australia and Canada for psoriasis, and analysts have predicted that its first-mover status and robust clinical data should make it quickly achieve $1bn-plus in sales.

Novartis beat its anti-IL-17 rivals to market, with AstraZeneca (AZ) and Amgen's brodalumab and Eli Lilly's ixekizumab now competing for second place. Cosentyx is also in clinical development for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), with filings due later this year.

The company is also on the brink of rolling out another potential blockbuster in the form of LCZ696 for heart failure, which could be approved in the US this summer and has been tipped as a $5bn-plus product.

Article by
Phil Taylor

13th March 2015

From: Research

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