Novartis has announced that its drug Cosentyx (secukinumab) has been found to show efficacy and safety of a biologic in the management of axial manifestations of psoriatic arthritis, in first-of-its kind data.

The company announced that the ongoing 52-week Phase IIIb trial met both its primary and key secondary endpoint with 63.1% of Cosentyx 300 mg and 66.3% of Cosentyx 150 mg patients achieving ASAS20 at week 12, compared to 31.3% for placebo.

Dr Antonio Mera Varela, head of rheumatology at Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela explained that the data marks the "First time we've seen the efficacy of a biologic in the axial manifestations of psoriatic arthritis at 12 weeks.”

Dr Antonio continued, ”As a physician, it's highly important that there is something that can help manage all aspects of my patients' psoriatic arthritis, including inflammation of the spine, joints, enthesitis, dactylitis and psoriasis of the skin and nails.”

The company says that the results strengthen unique position of Cosentyx as a rapid, comprehensive treatment of spondyloarthritis and psoriatic disease, with over 200,000 patients treated worldwide.

PsA is a complex disease with multiple manifestations driving patient symptoms. It is estimated to affect up to 50 million people worldwide and is part of a family of long-term inflammatory diseases - spondyloarthritis - that target the joints. It is closely associated with psoriasis; up to 40% of patients with psoriasis have PsA.

The data will be presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) on 12-15 June in Madrid, Spain.