AbbVie’s Humira could soon become the first approved therapy for a chronic skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa after European regulatory advisors backed its use in patients failing to respond to systemic treatment.

Hidradenitis suppurativa, which is also known as acne inversa, is a painful, chronic inflammatory skin disease estimated to impact around 1% of the adult population worldwide.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use’s support for Humira (adalimumab) as a treatment for the condition comes on the back of clinical trial data showing that moderate-to-severe HS patients taking the drug achieved a significantly greater response - defined as at least 50% reduction from baseline in total abscess and inflammatory nodule count - versus those on placebo.

An approval would add to Humira’s already long list of uses in Europe, which for adults includes: rheumatoid arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis; axial spondyloarthritis; plaque psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; Crohn's Disease; and ulcerative colitis.

Meanwhile, AbbVie announced a 40 million-euro investment in its medical device manufacturing facility in Sligo, Ireland. The move includes the creation of 50 new highly-skilled job over the next four years.