NICE green-light for Novartis skin drug

pharmafile | May 29, 2015 | News story | Sales and Marketing Cosentyx, IL-17, NICE, Novartis, Secukinumab 

NICE has released positive draft guidance for three treatments, including the first in a new generation of psoriasis drugs.

Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) is recommended in final draft guidance as an option for treating some patients with the skin condition plaque psoriasis. Cosentyx is the first psoriasis treatment to be approved by NICE that blocks the IL-17A protein, which is found in increased concentrations in people with psoriasis.

However NICE’s draft guidance only recommends the treatment if patients are unable to take standard systemic therapies, and if the drug is provided with an agreed patient access scheme discount.

“Psoriasis is so much more than just a skin condition; it can be life consuming, affecting psychological wellbeing as well as physical health,” says Helen McAteer, chief executive of the Psoriasis Association. “Today’s news offers promise for many people with psoriasis who are striving for clear skin.”

Cosentyx was approved by the FDA in January and according to Bloomberg is predicted to top $1 billion in sales by 2020.

AstraZeneca also has an IL-17 inhibitor psoriasis drug, brodalumab, in development. Until recently it was being co-developed with Amgen, but the US firm pulled out of the deal after trials suggested that the treatment could lead to suicidal thoughts.

Meanwhile, UCB’s Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) has been recommended in draft guidance for ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis – two forms of inflammatory arthritis that affect the spine.

The drug is one of UCB’s best-selling products. However, it is set to face competition from treatments such as AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), the world’s biggest-selling drug, Pfizer’s Enbrel (etanercept) and Merck’s Simponi (golimumab).

Finally, AstraZeneca’s Moventig (naloxegol) has been recommended in final draft guidance as an option for treating opioid-induced constipation in adults whose symptoms have not adequately responded to laxatives.

The guidance documents are all now set for consultation.

George Underwood


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