Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis, axSpA (either Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis or Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis) fulfilling the Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis International Society classification criteria for axSpA
Active disease as defined by having an Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score ≥ 2.1 at Screening and Baseline despite concurrent Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) therapy, or intolerance/contraindication to NSAIDs.
Objective signs of inflammation at Screening as defined by: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of sacroiliac joints performed up to 3 months prior to screening showing acute inflammatory lesion(s), OR elevated quick C-reactive Protein (CRP) (> 5 mg/L), OR MRI showing acute inflammatory lesion(s) in the sacroiliac joints and spine performed during screening period.
Inadequate response to NSAIDs
Previous exposure to secukinumab or other biologic drug directly targeting Interleukin(IL)-17 or IL-17 receptor.
Patients who have previously been treated with Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha inhibitors (investigational or approved).
Patients treated with any cell-depleting therapies.
Active ongoing inflammatory diseases or underlying metabolic, hematologic, renal, hepatic, pulmonary, neurologic, endocrine, cardiac, infectious or gastrointestinal conditions, which in the opinion of the investigator immunosuppressed the patient and/or places the patient at unacceptable risk for participation in an immunomodulatory therapy.
History of clinically significant liver disease or liver injury
History of renal trauma, glomerulonephritis, or patients with one kidney only, or a serum creatinine level exceeding 1.8 mg/dL (159.12 μmol/L).
Active systemic infections during the last 2 weeks (exception: common cold) prior to randomization.
History of ongoing, chronic or recurrent infectious disease or evidence of tuberculosis (TB) infection
Patients positive for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B or hepatitis C
Life vaccinations within 6 weeks prior to Baseline or planned vaccination during study participation until 12 weeks after last study treatment administration.
Other protocol-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria may apply.