Novartis’ psoriasis drug allows some patients to go into remission

pharmafile | March 21, 2017 | News story | Research and Development Cosentyx, Novartis, psoriasis 

Novartis released data on patient’s reaction to Cosentyx for the treatment of psoriasis, finding that as many as 21% of patients maintained clear skin for one year without treatment. The benefits were even seen to continue after two years in 10% of patients.

The trial treated patients with a one year course of treatment of Cosentyx, before then grouping patients into a portion of patients who continued to be treated or those who were switched onto placebo.

The study found that those who had been suffering from psoriasis for a longer duration of time were less likely to be able to continue without treatment. Novartis drew the conclusion from this: “that early intervention increases the chance of remaining relapse free”; it’s an observation that would certainly see an increased early up-take of Cosentyx.

Cosentyx sales are already strong, with last year’s reaching $1.1 billion and this further evidence of the ability to send patients into remission will only strengthen its position in the market. Approval for the drug came after previous data displayed that it was able to provide clear or almost clear skin in up to 80% of patients.

“These results suggest that Cosentyx may go beyond simply treating symptoms and could actually modify the course of psoriasis, and highlights the need for further investigation into early intervention,” said Vas Narasimhan, Global Head, Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis. “Being able to change the course of disease is the ultimate goal of treatment, which is why we are investing in the STEPIn trial to further understand the disease modifying ability of Cosentyx in psoriasis.”

As a result of the trial, Novartis is now experimenting with early interventions in those suffering with moderate-to-severe psoriasis to see whether a higher proportion of patients can go longer without treatment.

Ben Hargreaves

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