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    Clear skin within reach for psoriasis patients

    New data presented at the 25th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Vienna, Austria, this week shows that secukinumab (Cosentyx, Novartis) has long-lasting skin clearance in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

    Newly-published data also show Cosentyx delivers superior, long-lasting skin clearance versus ustekinumab (Stelara, Janssen Biotech) for up to 1 year in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis (76% for Cosentyx vs. 61% for Stelara at 52 weeks. “Cosentyx has now shown superior and sustained results versus both Stelara and Enbrel [etanercept, Amgen], two widely-used biologic treatments,” Novartis said in a statement.

    Related: AAD 2015: Secukinumab improves skin clearance in plaque psoriasis patients over widely used therapy

    Cosentyx is approved in more than 65 countries for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, which includes the European Union countries, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, the United States and Canada. In the United States, Cosentyx is approved as a treatment for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy (light therapy).

    More than 10,000 patients have been treated with Cosentyx in clinical trial settings across multiple indications, and over 50,000 patients have been treated in the post-marketing settings.

    In the 4-year Cosentyx efficacy study presented at the EADV Congress, clear or almost clear skin was achieved by 68.5% of patients at year 1 and this high rate was maintained to year 4 (66.4%). In addition, 43.8% of psoriasis patients achieved completely clear skin at year 1 and this rate (43.5%) was maintained to year 4.

    Related: FDA approves secukinumab for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis

    Notably, the average improvement of psoriasis as measured by the PASI score was maintained at more than 90% after 4 years of treatment. The standard goal of treatment, PASI 75 response, was achieved by 88.5% of patients at year 4.

    "These impressive results show that Cosentyx keeps working year-on-year, maintaining high levels of skin clearance with a favorable safety profile," said Vasant Narasimhan, global head of drug development and chief medical officer for Novartis. "Psoriasis patients need therapies they can use over long periods of time without loss of efficacy and we are pleased that Cosentyx is proving a sustainable choice for patients."

    At the EADV Congress, results demonstrating the longer-term efficacy (1.5 years) of Cosentyx in treating psoriasis of the hands and feet (palmoplantar), which are considered difficult areas to treat on the body, were also shared. Approximately 60% of patients achieved clear or almost clear palms and soles with Cosentyx, which continued to improve over 1.5 years.

    “This demonstrates the strength of Cosentyx as an important treatment option for patients with psoriasis on these parts of their body that are crucial for everyday function. These patients are known to suffer greater disability and discomfort than those with psoriasis on other areas,” Novartis said.

    Read more: ‘Beyond the pill’: Novartis eyes new pricing model for heart failure drug

    Christine Blank
    Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.

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