Experimental Drug Improves Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms in Clinical Trial

Specialty Pharmacy Times, November/December 2014, Volume 5, Issue 6

An investigational psoriatic arthritis (PsA) therapy in development by Novartis exhibited promising results in 2 recent phase 3 trials.

Secukinumab was found to improve the signs and symptoms of PsA, including an improvement to peripheral joint disease and the prevention of joint damage compared with placebo. The drug also delivered clear or almost clear skin.

Detailed results from the 2 trials, which enrolled more than 1000 patients, will be presented at an upcoming medical congress.

The drug acts as a fully human monoclonal antibody that selectively stops the action of the interleukin-17A protein, which stimulates inflammatory diseases and is crucial in the development of psoriasis and other inflammatory arthritic diseases. Secukinumab is being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Building on the positive data previously reported in psoriasis, we are excited to present the first Phase III results of secukinumab in PsA. These positive results are planned to form the basis of a filing application to regulatory authorities in this indication,” Vasant Narasimhan, global head of development at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said in a press release. “Effective new therapies are urgently needed for newly PsA diagnosed patients and for nearly half of PsA patients who are dissatisfied with or not responding to their current treatments.”