Novartis' Cosentyx racks up more long-term data in psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

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Novartis' Cosentyx won FDA approvals for ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis in January of last year.

The ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis markets are growing increasingly crowded, but Novartis now has something not all its rivals can boast: long-term data for its IL-17 med, Cosentyx.

Thursday at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Madrid, the Swiss drugmaker unveiled study results showing its contender could show sustained improvements in signs and symptoms of both maladies.

In one extension trial, at three years, 80% of ankylosing spondylitis patients taking Cosentyx hit the “20” mark on the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society response criteria scale.

And a new analysis of Novartis’ Future 2 study showed that by the two-year point, 28% of psoriatic arthritis patients treated with Cosentyx—almost all of whom had reported moderate-to-extreme pain or discomfort before starting on the drug—felt no pain or discomfort at all.

RELATED: Novartis extends lead on psoriasis rivals with a pair of new Cosentyx approvals

It’s good news for Novartis, whose med is currently the only member of the IL-17 crowd to boast indications in ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Knowing competition was on the way, the company worked to snag those a year after winning Cosentyx’ initial nod in psoriasis.

Since then, Novartis has been joined by Eli Lilly’s Taltz and Valeant’s Siliq, and development of other candidates—such as Johnson & Johnson’s guselkumab—is underway. Lilly, for one, posted its own positive psoriatic arthritis data Thursday, showing its med could improve signs and symptoms in patients who had already failed on anti-TNF products. And the Indianapolis drugmaker currently has Taltz in phase 3 as a treatment for axial spondyloarthritis, an umbrella that includes ankylosing spondylitis.

But it’s not only IL-17 products competing for a slice of the pie. Pfizer is developing its rheumatoid arthritis pill, Xeljanz, for psoriatic arthritis, and Celgene's psoriasis pill Otezla has a psoriatic arthritis nod, as well. On the ankylosing spondylitis front, J&J’s Stelara could eventually challenge Cosentyx, research and consulting firm GlobalData has predicted.