#EULAR2018 – Latest Clinical Data on Cosentyx Reinforces Its Potential to Treat Ankylosing Spondylitis

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by Alice Melao |

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Latest clinical data on Cosentyx (secukinumab) demonstrates its long-term potential to prevent radiographic progression and improve the quality of life of patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Several relevant studies were presented recently at 2018 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR), held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Cosentyx is a specific inhibitor of interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a critical signaling molecule that contributes to the inflammatory process involved in active ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. This engineered antibody, developed and marketed by Novartis, is the only IL-17A antagonist approved for the treatment of adults with active ankylosing spondylitis.

Researchers have been investigating the long-term impact of treatment with Cosentyx in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis in the Phase 3 MEASURE 1 extension trial (NCT01863732).

To date, of 87 patients who received an intravenous administration of 150 mg of Cosentyx once a month, 78 patients (89.7%) have completed four years of treatment.

The study, “Secukinumab demonstrates low radiographic progression and sustained efficacy through 4 years in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis,” showed that Cosentyx prevented radiographic progression of the disease in 79% of these patients compared to baseline.

Also, the treatment was more beneficial to male patients who had higher levels of C-reactive protein (an indicator of active inflammation) and more bone growths in the spine (syndesmophytes) in the beginning of the trial.

Researchers also presented results from the Phase 3 MEASURE 2 study (NCT01649375), which is assessing the effectiveness and safety of Cosentyx in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis who are tolerant, or have had an inadequate response, to other therapies, including NSAIDs, DMARDs or TNFα inhibitors.

The study, “Secukinumab 150 mg provides sustained improvements in the signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis with high retention rate: 4-year results from the Phase III trial, MEASURE 2,” revealed that long-term use of 150 mg Cosentyx in these patients prevented symptoms of the disease at four years. The treatment also was found safe and well-tolerated.

The treatment was beneficial to all patients regardless of prior exposure to anti-TNF therapies. However, greater responses were experienced by patients who had not undergone anti-TNF therapy.

Cosentyx was approved as treatment for ankylosing spondylitis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2016, so there is still little real-world evidence of its effectiveness and safety.

The study “Treatment experience and satisfaction in ankylosing spondylitis patients treated with secukinumab: results from a US web-based survey” was a web-based survey taken July 10-Aug. 3, 2017, and shed light on patients’ experience and satisfaction with this new biologic therapy.

A total of 200 adult patients with ankylosing spondylitis who had been treated for at least three months with Cosentyx were included in the survey.

About 98.5% of the participants had been previously treated for ankylosing spondylitis, with either biologic or non-biologic drugs. The main reason for discontinuation of the prior line of therapy was due to lack of effectiveness.

According to respondents, 74% reported having clinically relevant improvements in disease symptoms upon beginning Cosentyx compared to prior therapies. Also, the majority (90%) of patients were satisfied with the treatment, and reported better treatment experience with Cosentyx than with their previous therapies.

“These data provide early insight into the secukinumab [Cosentyx] treatment experience and satisfaction of U.S. patients with ankylosing spondylitis,” researchers wrote.

“I would like to thank the patients who participated in our trials as well as the investigators and sites who worked with us to run the studies presented at EULAR 2018,” Eric Hughes MD, PhD, Global Development Unit head, Immunology, Hepatology and Dermatology at Novartis, said in a press release. “Collaboration is a key component in driving scientific understanding of spondyloarthritis forward, broadening treatment options for clinicians and, ultimately, improving patient outcomes.”