Patients eligible for inclusion in this study have to fulfill all of the following criteria:
Diagnosis of PsA classified by CASPAR criteria and with symptoms for at least 6 months with moderate to severe PsA who must have at Baseline ≥3 tender joints out of 78 and ≥3 swollen out of 76 (dactylitis of a digit counts as one joint each)
Rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies negative at screening
Diagnosis of active plaque psoriasis or nail changes consistent with psoriasis or documented history of plaque psoriasis
Subjects with PsA should have taken NSAIDs for at least 4 weeks prior to randomization with inadequate control of symptoms or at least one dose if stopped due to intolerance to NSAIDs
Subjects taking corticosteroids must be on a stable dose of ≤10 mg/day prednisone or equivalent for at least 2 weeks before randomization and should remain on a stable dose up to Week 16
Subjects taking MTX (≤ 25 mg/week) are allowed to continue their medication if the dose is stable for at least 4 weeks before randomization and should remain on a stable dose up to Week 52.
Patients fulfilling any of the following criteria are not eligible for inclusion in this study:
Chest X-ray or chest MRI with evidence of ongoing infectious or malignant process, obtained within 3 months prior to screening and evaluated by a qualified physician
Subjects taking high potency opioid analgesics (e.g. methadone, hydromorphone, morphine)
Previous exposure to secukinumab or other biologic drug directly targeting IL-17 or IL-17 receptor
Ongoing use of prohibited psoriasis treatments / medications (e.g., topical corticosteroids, UV therapy) at randomization. The following wash-out periods need to be observed:
Oral or topical retinoids- 4 weeks
Photochemotherapy (e.g. PUVA)- 4 weeks
Phototherapy (UVA or UVB)- 2 weeks
Topical skin treatments (except in face, eyes, scalp and genital area during screening, only corticosteroids with mild to moderate potency)- 2 weeks
Any intramuscular or intravenous corticosteroid treatment within 4 weeks before randomization.
Any therapy by intra-articular injections (e.g. corticosteroid) within 4 weeks before randomization.
Subjects who have previously been treated with more than 3 different TNF inhibitors (investigational or approved).
Subjects who have ever received biologic immunomodulating agents, investigational or approved except for those targeting TNFα.
Previous treatment with any cell-depleting therapies including but not limited to anti-CD20 or investigational agents (e.g., CAMPATH, anti-CD4, anti-CD5, anti-CD3, anti-CD19)