- Japan has become the first country to approve Novartis' Cosentyx (secukinumab), an interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitor intended for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. However, the specific indication in Japan is for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris and psoriatic arthritis in patients who have not responded to other treatments.
- Approval is expected in the US in early 2015. An FDA sub-committee has already recommended approval of this first-in-class IL-17 inhibitor for treatment of psoriasis
- In clinical trials, 70% of patients experienced improvement or complete clearing of their psoriasis symptoms.
The long-awaited approval of Cosentyx represents a major breakthrough for patients with refractory psoriasis and related conditions. Approximately 3% of the world's population is affected by some form of psoriasis. In other words, roughly 125 million people—a market estimated to be worth $1 billion to $2.5 billion annually.
Before the new year, BioPharma Dive targeted Cosentyx as one of the biggest U.S. drug launches of 2015. As an immunosuppressant in the IL-17 class, Cosentyx represents a potential new treatment option for this market, which will now compete with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors—long considered the standard of care.