Cosentyx Improved Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis

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by Patricia Inacio PhD |

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Novartis recently announced that its leading drug Cosentyx (secukinumab) improves both signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis (AS), according to the results of a three-year Phase 3 extension trial called MEASURE 1.

The findings were presented recently at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2017) in Madrid, Spain.

These findings in AS are in agreement with Cosentyx positive results through three years for active psoriatic arthritis (PsA), another lifelong inflammatory disease. In patients with active PsA, Cosentyx also was found to provide rapid and sustained pain relief, a two-year study showed.

Cosentyx is an inhibitor of the human cytokine called interleukin-17A (IL-17A), which has been shown to act as a driver of auto-inflammatory conditions, including AS, PsA, and psoriasis.

In the first part of the MEASURE 1 trial (NCT01358175), a total of 290 participants (of 371) completed the trial, which assessed Cosentyx’s effectiveness and safety in active AS. An extension follow-up study included 274 AS patients, of whom 80 percent achieved an ASAS 20 response after three years. ASAS stands for “Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society” response criteria; an ASAS 20 response indicates an improvement of at least 20 percent in specific ASAS domains, namely in patient global assessment, pain, function, and inflammation.

These findings were in agreement with the results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial called FUTURE 1 (NCT01392326), where approximately 80 percent of patients with active PsA receiving Cosentyx showed sustained improvements in disease signs and symptoms.

The following FUTURE 2 study (NCT01752634), a two-year post-hoc analysis, revealed that before initiating treatment 99 percent of patients reported moderate-to-extreme pain or discomfort. At week three, 50 percent of  patients receiving Cosentyx showed clinically meaningful improvements in pain. At week four, while only 5 percent of the patients on placebo reported no pain or discomfort, this number was higher in Cosentyx-treated patients (15 percent), reaching 28 percent after two years.

“These data reconfirm that Cosentyx provides patients with long-lasting relief from the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as now demonstrating rapid pain relief from psoriatic arthritis,” Vas Narasimhan, MD, Global Head of Drug Development and chief medical officer at Novartis, said in a press release.

“We are pleased that Cosentyx continues to provide sustained benefits for patients with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.” Narasimhan added.

Cosentyx is the only IL-17A inhibitor approved for AS, psoriasis, and PsA in more than 75 countries, including the European Union and the U.S.