Cosentyx is the only biologic that can be used as first-line systemic therapy in the treatment of psoriasis and as an alternative to treatments that have significant side effects; all other biologics are recommended for second-line therapy[2-4]
Cosentyx showed superiority to Stelara® in the Phase IIIb CLEAR study
In Phase III studies, 70% or more Cosentyx 300 mg patients achieved clear skin (PASI 100) or almost clear skin (PASI 90) during the first 16 weeks of treatment
Achieving clear skin is the ultimate treatment goal for patients with psoriasis; 50% of psoriasis patients are not content with current therapies[7-10]
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Basel, 19 January 2015- Novartis announced today that the European Commission (EC) has approved Cosentyx(TM) (secukinumab, formerly known as AIN457) as a first-line systemic* treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy.
Cosentyx (at a dose of 300 mg) is the first and only interleukin-17A (IL-17A) inhibitor to be approved in Europe and this approval marks a significant milestone in the treatment of psoriasis, providing a new and important first-line biologic treatment option for patients. Currently, all biologic treatments for psoriasis, including anti-tumor necrosis factor therapies (anti-TNFs) and Stelara®** (ustekinumab) are recommended for second-line systemic therapy in Europe[2-4].
"With this groundbreaking news from the European Commission, clear skin may now be a reality for patients living with psoriasis," said David Epstein, Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "Nearly half of psoriasis patients are not content with current therapies, including biologic treatments, showing a significant unmet need for patients. Cosentyx, with a first-line systemic indication for treatment of psoriasis will provide patients a better chance of achieving clear or almost clear skin."
The key treatment goal for psoriasis patients is achieving clear skin. In clinical studies, 70% or more Cosentyx 300 mg patients achieved clear skin (PASI 100) or almost clear skin (PASI 90), during the first 16 weeks of treatment and importantly, this was maintained with continued treatment in the majority of patients up to Week 52. Data from the Cosentyx clinical trial program also showed a significant positive relationship between achieving clear to almost clear skin and psoriasis patients' health-related quality of life.
The EU approval follows the recent results of the Phase IIIb CLEAR study, which showed that Cosentyx was superior to Stelara®** in clearing skin of patients living with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. The CLEAR study was the second head-to-head study for Cosentyx. Cosentyx also showed superiority to Enbrel®*** (etanercept) in clearing skin in the FIXTURE study. In the Phase III clinical program the overall safety profile of Cosentyx was favorable, with minimal differences seen between etanercept and ustekinumab in head-to-head comparison[5,6].
In addition to the EU, Cosentyx has been approved in Australia for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and in Japan for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision in moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis is anticipated early in 2015 following the unanimous recommendation of approval in October 2014 from the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee (DODAC) to the US FDA.
About Cosentyx (secukinumab) and interleukin-17A (IL-17A) Cosentyx is a human monoclonal antibody that selectively neutralizes IL-17A[12,13]. IL-17A is found in high concentrations in skin affected by psoriasis and is a preferred target for investigational therapies[12-17]. Cosentyx works by inhibiting the action of interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a protein found in high concentrations in skin affected by the disease[12-17]. In the Phase III program, Cosentyx demonstrated a favorable safety profile, with similar incidence and severity of adverse events between secukinumab treatment arms (300 mg and 150 mg)[5,18-20].
Phase IIIb studies in psoriasis are ongoing in palmo-plantar psoriasis, nail psoriasis and palmo-plantar pustulosis.
Cosentyx is also in Phase III development for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS); regulatory applications are planned for 2015.
About Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease characterized by thick and extensive skin lesions, called plaques, known to cause itching, scaling and pain; it is associated with significant impairment of physical and psychological quality of life[7,21,22]. Psoriasis affects up to 3% of the world's population, or more than 125 million people. In Europe, the estimate is about 0.8%, which means that plaque psoriasis affects about 3.7 million Europeans, with about 2.4 million considered to have moderate-to-severe disease.
This common and distressing condition is not simply a cosmetic problem - even people with very mild symptoms are affected everyday. Furthermore, there is an urgent need for new psoriasis treatments, as up to 50% of patients are not content with current therapies, including biologic treatments[7-10].
Disclaimer The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by words such as "can," "recommended," "groundbreaking," "may," "will," "goal," "anticipated," "recommendation," "investigational," "ongoing," "planned," or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing authorizations for Cosentyx, or regarding potential future revenues from Cosentyx. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that Cosentyx will be submitted for sale in any additional markets, or approved for any indication, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that Cosentyx will receive regulatory approval or be commercially successful in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding Cosentyx could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including unexpected clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the company's ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; general economic and industry conditions; global trends toward health care cost containment, including ongoing pricing pressures; unexpected manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
About Novartis Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and over-the-counter products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 130,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
*Systemic: treatments or medication absorbed into the blood stream, allowing them to be carried where they are needed to work **Stelara® is a registered trademark of Janssen Biotech, Inc. ***Enbrel® is a registered trademark of Amgen Inc. Enbrel used in the FIXTURE study was European sourced.
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