US regulators have approved new evidence showing that Novartis’ Cosentyx significantly slows progression of joint structural damage in patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

The data – taken from the Phase III FUTURE 5 study - will now be added to the drug's prescribing information.

Findings from the trial showed that more participants treated with Cosentyx (secukinumab) had no worsening of joint structural damage compared to placebo at 24 weeks: 88 percent (300mg), 80 percent (150mg), 84 percent (150mg) versus 74 percent (placebo).

Cosentyx is the first and only interleukin-17A antagonist approved to treat active PsA, as well as active ankylosing spondylitis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

PsA affects an estimated 2 million people in the US and is characterised by joint pain and stiffness. If left untreated the condition can reduce mobility and cause irreversible joint damage. Up to 40 percent of PsA patients can suffer from joint damage and permanent physical deformity.

"While daily psoriatic arthritis symptoms can seriously affect a patient, the progressive nature of this disease should not be ignored. The joint damage that often results from having the disease over time can potentially be permanent," said Marcia Kayath, head US Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Novartis.

"Now physicians and their patients with psoriatic arthritis can be confident that Cosentyx not only offers significant symptom relief, but also helps slow the progression of the disease."