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Despite some advantages, Novartis' Cosentyx fails to outclass Humira in active psoriatic arthritis

Published on 01/11/19 at 10:36am

Novartis has announced new data drawn from a trial pitting Cosentyx (secukinumab) in head-to-head competition with AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) – currently the world’s best-selling drug – in the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

While details on the findings of the study were scant, Novartis confirmed that its drug exhibited “numerically higher results” compared to AbbVie’s therapy with “statistically significant advantages” recorded in a pre-specified sensitivity analysis.

However, the company also confirmed that Cosentyx failed to meet the primary endpoint of the trial: statistical significant advantages for superiority in ACR20, representing a 20% improvement in symptoms, failing to outclass its rival.

“These data will be welcomed by patients and clinicians to guide clinical decision making and highlight secukinumab as a viable option as a first-line biologic for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis,” remarked Iain McInnes, Professor of Rheumatology, University of Glasgow and an investigator in the trial.

Eric Hughes, Global Development Unit Head, Immunology, Hepatology & Dermatology at Novartis, also commented: “EXCEED is the first ever monotherapy head-to-head trial with a primary endpoint in psoriatic arthritis specific to joints. Novartis continues to reimagine care for patients and advance science in rheumatology. We will assess the EXCEED data in their totality and we view the results as confirming our vision of Cosentyx becoming standard of care in psoriatic arthritis.”

Novartis confirmed that detailed findings from the study would be revealed at a future scientific event.

Matt Fellows

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