Patients with plaque psoriasis should be able to get routine access to Eli Lilly’s Taltz on the NHS within the next three months if they meet certain eligibility criteria.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has now published final guidelines backing use of the drug but only if the disease is severe, as defined by a total Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) of 10 or more and a Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) of more than 10, and has not responded to standard systemic therapies or patients can’t take them.

Also, the Institute has stressed that access to the drug on the NHS is dependent on the continued provision of the drug at the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.

Taltz is an antibody specifically designed to target the cytokine interleukin IL-17A, a protein that plays a role in driving underlying inflammation in psoriasis.

Its European approval back in April came on the back of data from seven clinical trials, including three pivotal double-blinded multi-centre Phase III studies (UNCOVER), which involved more than 3,800 psoriasis patients from 21 countries.

According to the data, for patients treated with the monoclonal antibody either every four weeks or every two weeks, between 78 percent and 90 percent achieved at least a 75% reduction in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score at 12 weeks.

Around 20,000 people in the UK would be eligible for treatment with the drug, according to data submitted by the company.