Hot on the heels of a European approval regulators in the US have now also issued a green light for Novartis’ psoriasis drug Cosentyx (secukinumab), a bright star in the firm’s portfolio which is pegged to hit blockbusterdom by 2020.

The US Food and Drug Administration has cleared use of Cosentyx in adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, making it the first targeting the interleukin IL-17A pathway - known to play a crucial role in the development of the disease - to win regulatory approval. Others coming through the pipeline include Amgen and AstraZeneca's brodalumab and Eli Lilly’s ixekizumab.

In Phase III clinical trials, Novartis’ monoclonal antibody resulted in clear or almost clear skin in the majority of participants within 12 weeks of treatment, which is particularly good news for patients as around 50% are thought to be dissatisfied with their current treatment.

On the safety side, Cosentyx comes with a Medication Guide to inform patients that, because it affects the immune system, there may be a greater risk infection. The most common side effects include diarrhoea and upper respiratory infections.