Cosentyx could change the course of psoriasis, study suggests
- Novartis' Cosentyx (secukinumab) could lead to disease modification and long-term skin clearance in some patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, new data from an extension phase of two Phase 3 trials suggests.
- After one year of treatment with Cosentyx, patients were randomized to either continue receiving the drug or switch to placebo. More than a fifth of patients maintained skin clearance for as much as one year without treatment, while one in ten patients saw skin clearance persist for two years without treatment.
- Since patients who have had psoriasis long-term are more likely to relapse, Novartis has also begun testing Cosentyx in new-onset disease to test the effects of early intervention.
The psoriasis market is a fast-growing one, but competition is fierce with several blockbuster drugs approved for the condition. And new treatment types such as Cosentyx — an IL-17A inhibitor — look set to cut out market share for themselves just as biosimilars begin to threaten mainstays like AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab).
Novartis has already shown the superiority of Cosentyx, the first IL-17A inhibitor to be approved for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, to both Amgen's Enbrel (etanercept) and Johnson & Johnson's Stelara (ustekinumab) in head-to-head trials. This latest data for could provide Novartis with further evidence of Cosentyx's benefit.
The Swiss pharma's revenue has been hit by generic competition to Gleevec (imatinib) and Lucentis (ranibizumab) and hopes that sales of Cosentyx could help to accelerate growth. The company has projected peak sales of up to $4 billion.
So far, Cosentyx has impressed commercially with $1.13 billion in 2016 sales — its second year on the market. Paul Hudson, head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, has said it even may be the company's best new product launch.
But it won't be without competition. Eli Lilly has high expectations for its own IL-17A drug Taltz (ixekizumab), which is approved for the same indication. And J&J is currently moving its promising IL-23 candidate guselkumab through regulatory review.
- Novartis Press release.
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