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Novartis' secukinumab has 'consistent' activity in psoriasis

Reinforces data that suggests drug is more effective than Amgen’s Enbrel
Novartis building

Novartis' psoriasis candidate secukinumab can achieve high rates of skin clearance despite the severity of the disease at the start of treatment, according to new data.

The anti-interleukin-17A antibody - also known as AIN457 - healed 90% to 100% of skin lesions in "a majority" of patients after 12 weeks' treatment with a 300mg once-weekly dose, according to the analysis, which was carried out on data from four phase III trials.

The data - which was presented at the European Association of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Amsterdam this week - reinforces earlier studies suggesting that secukinumab was more effective in treating psoriasis than Amgen's TNF antagonist Enbrel (etanercept), one of the most widely-used biologic therapies for the disease.

The new finding is important because psoriasis patients' disease severity at the start of treatment has typically been shown to negatively impact their response to other therapies, according to Novartis.

Psoriasis has a prevalence of around 2% to 3% in the Western world and afflicts more than 125 million people worldwide. In severe cases the disease can be devastating with chronic itching and pain and skin lesions that can make patients self-conscious and anxious.

Just last month, an inquest in the UK heard that psoriasis was a significant contributory factor in the suicide of UK nurse Hollie McEwen, who was affected by the disease in childhood and had seen symptoms re-appear in recent years.

Novartis reported additional analyses at the EADV conference, which clearly showed a significant positive relationship between achieving clear to almost clear skin and psoriasis patients' health-related quality of life. Researchers found that 70% of patients treated with secukinumab experienced clear or almost clear skin with no quality of life impairment after 16 weeks' treatment with the drug.

Secukinumab was submitted for approval in the US and Europe last year and is scheduled for review by an FDA advisory committee on October 20, with the EU's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) also due to deliver a verdict before the end of the year.

Analysts at Evaluate Pharma have predicted the drug could achieve sales of around $570m by 2018, and will compete in the marketplace with other anti-IL17 drugs including AstraZeneca/Amgen's brodalumab and Lilly's ixekizumab.

Article by
Phil Taylor

10th October 2014

From: Research

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