Novartis has unveiled trial results which it says show that Cosentyx is the first and only IL-17A inhibitor to potentially modify the course of psoriasis.

New data, presented at the 13th Annual Maui Derm for Dermatologists 2017, Maui, Hawaii, suggests that disease modification with Cosentyx (secukinumab) may be achievable for around 20 percent of patients after one year of treatment with the drug.

In the trial, following one year of treatment with Cosentyx, patients were randomised to either continuous treatment or treatment cessation until relapse. Those with continuous treatment maintained their high level of response, but among the patients that discontinued treatment, 21 percent maintained skin clearance for up to one year without treatment and 10 percent maintained skin clearance for up to two years without treatment.

Also, patients with longer disease duration were more likely to relapse, suggesting that early intervention increases the chance of remaining relapse free, Novartis said.

“These results suggest that Cosentyx may go beyond simply treating symptoms and could actually modify the course of psoriasis, and highlights the need for further investigation into early intervention,” said Vas Narasimhan, global head of drug development and chief medical officer at Novartis.

“Being able to change the course of disease is the ultimate goal of treatment, which is why we are investing in the STEPIn trial to further understand the disease modifying ability of Cosentyx in psoriasis.”

STEPIn is a randomised, multicenter study to evaluate the effect of secukinumab 300mg by subcutaneous injection administered during 52 weeks to patients suffering from new-onset moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis as early intervention compared to standard of care treatment.

The trial aims to demonstrate the benefit of early treatment with Cosentyx with the ultimate goal of altering the natural course of psoriasis with a reduced disease burden and need for treatment.

Launched in January 2015, Cosentyx is the only IL-17A inhibitor approved in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). 80,000 patients have been treated with Cosentyx worldwide in the post-marketing setting.