Novartis psoriasis drug bests J&J's Stelara in head-to-head trial
- Cosentyx (secukinumab) is an interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitor intended for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. If approved by the FDA, this drug will compete with the current standard of care—tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers.
- In a phase III trial involving 679 patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, patients taking Cosentyx achieved clear or almost clear skin after 16 weeks.
- With respect to secondary endpoints, patients achieved at least a 75% improvement in disease severity at week 4.
Approximately 125 million people are affected by plaque psoriasis, which is characterized by painful itching and scratching and skin abnormalities.
As an immunosuppressant in the IL-17 class, Cosentyx represents a potential new treatment option for this market, which, if approved, will compete with drugs such as Amgen's Enbrel (etanercept) and J&J's Stelara (ustekinumab). Cosentyx performed better than Enbrel in a previous head-to-head trial.