Biologic clears 40 percent of patients after a year

| Melissa Leavitt

Secukinumab, a drug in clinical trials for psoriasis, can keep patients clear for a full year, according to study results presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology meeting earlier this month.

The study analyzed data from a Phase III clinical trial for the drug. In July, results from the trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. These results showed that taking a 300 milligram (mg) dose of the drug for three months delivered complete skin clearance to more than a quarter of patients.

Now a new analysis of the data shows that the number of patients with clear skin kept growing throughout the year. Almost 40 percent of patients taking the 300 mg dose had complete skin clearance after a year on the drug, researchers report.

During the same amount of time, 60 percent of patients at this dose achieved a 90 percent improvement in their psoriasis, according to the data.

Approximately 20 percent of patients taking a lower dose of the drug also achieved clear skin after a year.

According to the results, approximately 5 percent of patients in both dosing groups experienced a serious side effect during the year. The most common side effects included cold, headache, and upper respiratory tract infections.

Secukinumab, manufactured by Novartis, targets interleukin-17 (IL-17), which is a protein involved in the inflammatory process of psoriasis. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval {} for the drug is anticipated in the coming months.

Two other drugs targeting IL-17, brodalumab and ixekizumab, are also being developed as treatments for psoriasis.

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