Secukinumab Superior to Stelara in Psoriasis

In a head-to-head phase 3b study, Novartis' secukinumab (Cosentyx) beat Janssen Pharmaceuticals' ustekinumab (Stelara) in clearing the skin of patients with psoriasis.

In a head-to-head phase 3b study, Novartis’ secukinumab (Cosentyx) beat Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ ustekinumab (Stelara) in clearing the skin of patients with psoriasis.

Cosentyx met researchers’ primary endpoint of achieving Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) 90, which represents clear or almost clear skin for patients with psoriasis, by week 16. The Novartis drug also met its secondary endpoint of achieving PASI 75 by week 4.

The yearlong study involved 679 patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and compared the efficacy of Cosentyx and Stelara. In a phase 3 study, 70% or more patients achieved at least PASI 90 during the first 16 weeks of Cosentyx treatment, according to Novartis.

The results mark the second study in which Cosentyx was proven superior to an established biologic psoriasis treatment.

"We are delighted that our (interleukin-17A) inhibitor Cosentyx showed superiority over Stelara, a widely used biologic for moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients and a newer treatment alternative to (tumor necrosis factor) inhibitors," said Vasant Narasimhan, global head of development at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in a press release. "Patients need more effective treatment options for psoriasis, and these impressive results add to the robust body of evidence that patients dramatically benefit and can achieve clear skin with Cosentyx."