Novartis secukinumab available for UK psoriasis sufferers

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Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd has announced that Cosentyx™ (secukinumab) is available for use in the UK for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic treatment.

Secukinumab is the first and only licensed therapy that blocks the IL-17A protein, found in significantly increased concentrations in psoriasis affected skin. Secukinumab is the only biologic therapy indicated for first-line systemic use in this group of patients: currently other biologic treatments for psoriasis, including anti-tumour necrosis factor therapies (anti-TNFs) and ustekinumab, are recommended for use after systemic treatments such as ciclosporin and methotrexate, or after use of ultraviolet light therapy, PUVA.

Secukinumab has been granted a licence based on efficacy and safety data from four randomised placebo-controlled clinical trials, including the large FIXTURE and ERASURE trials, which demonstrated statistically significant improvements in efficacy compared to NICE-recommended treatment, etanercept (FIXTURE only), or placebo. Secukinumab met all primary and secondary endpoints in these trials.

Professor Chris Griffiths, Foundation Professor of Dermatology, University of Manchester and Consultant Dermatologist at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Secukinumab is a significant treatment advance for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis patients, and is the first IL17-A inhibitor to be licensed. Our participation in the secukinumab clinical trial programme has shown us first-hand its impact on patients by delivering high levels of skin clearance. I am delighted it is now available for patients in the UK.”

Helen McAteer, Chief Executive, Psoriasis Association, said: “Our research suggests people want treatments that will reduce the visible elements of psoriasis as well as improve their overall wellbeing. New treatments which achieve this, like secukinumab, will be welcomed by patients.”