NICE approves secukinumab for young people with severe plaque psoriasis

pharmafile | September 3, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications  

NICE has approved secukinumab (Cosentyx) as an option for treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in people aged six to 17 years who have not responded to other forms of systemic treatment, or for whom these options were contraindicated or not tolerated.

Children and young people will now have access to this treatment option on the NHS.

Doctor Anthony Bewley, Dermatologist at Barts Health, London, said, “Psoriasis is a chronic condition, which in the most severe cases causes persistent and disabling symptoms. I’ve heard from many young people how psoriasis has negatively affected them by knocking their confidence and making it difficult for them to enjoy even straight-forward things like going to school or spending time out with friends.

“This NICE recommendation means that young people with this form of psoriasis, where appropriate, will now have access to secukinumab, which can be an effective treatment option and can really help them manage their psoriasis symptoms.”

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition that can cause flaky, itchy plaques all over a person’s body. Symptoms can be persistent with people suffering from unpredictable flare-ups that affect their physical and emotional wellbeing.

 Around 22,000 children and young people in the UK1, and up to 350,000 children worldwide, experience this form of psoriasis, with onset most common during adolescence.

Chinmay Batt, Managing Director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, Ireland and Nordics, said: “This recommendation means we can reimagine psoriasis care by giving children and young people an effective treatment option they can have at home.

“This will benefit patients and help ease pressure on the NHS as we build back services around the pandemic.

“With further global filings for childhood arthritic conditions, we are closer to our goal of expanding secukinumab to 10 indications over 10 years.”

Once treatment is established, secukinumab is given by subcutaneous injection every four weeks; after training, it can be given by a child’s parent or carer at home.

It is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a molecule involved in the psoriasis inflammatory response. Secukinumab is the first IL-17A inhibitor to be approved by NICE to treat children and young people with this condition.

Lilly Subbotin

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