Novartis’ Cosentyx has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of adults with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA).

NICE has recommended Cosentyx (secukinumab) as an option for the treatment of active nr-axSpA with objective signs of inflammation that is not controlled well enough with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in adults.

The IL-17A inhibitor is recommended only if tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors are not suitable or do not control the condition well enough.

“Axial SpA is a painful and progressive long-term condition affecting approximately one in 200 people in the UK,” said Dale Webb, chief executive of the UK’s National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS).

“Axial SpA can result in long-term pain, impaired mobility and fatigue. Earlier diagnosis and treatment can have a significant impact on the progression of the condition and people’s long-term outcomes, and NASS welcomes new treatment options,” he added.

The recommendation is based on data from the Phase III PREVENT study, in which 40.8% of nr-axSpA patient treated with Cosentyx 150mg showed significant relief of symptoms compared to 28% in the placebo group.

In addition, statistically significant improvements across secondary endpoints were also observed, including pain and fatigue, disease burden and health-related quality of life.

“The decision from NICE in nr-axSpA comes on the heels of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approval and means secukinumab is now recommended as a much-needed additional treatment option for patients with this debilitating condition in England, Scotland and Wales,” said Caitriona Walsh, regional partnership business unit head, Novartis UK.

“The symptoms of nr-axSpA often mean that patients require both practical and emotional support when undergoing treatment and this is available through the Novartis You First patient support programme,” she added.