Novartis' Cosentyx keeps up the good clearance through Year 4: Study

Novartis HQ cropped

Novartis’ Cosentyx has a head start on the next-gen psoriasis pack, but the company is still gunning to build its lead before a raft of new competitors arrive. And now, the Swiss drugmaker has some long-term data in hand that could help it on that quest.

Over the weekend, the pharma giant unveiled results showing that its psoriasis star could deliver high--and long-lasting--skin clearance in moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients over four years of therapy. 68.5% of patients in the study achieved clear or almost clear skin at the Year 1 mark, and that rate holds steady, holding at 66.4% at Year 4.

And those whose skin cleared completely on Cosentyx--43.8% of patients--got to keep enjoying that status, too, with the rate staying put at 43.5% at Year 4.

Since Novartis won approval for Cosentyx in January 2015, the company hasn’t slowed down with the med. The newcomer racked up $261 million in 2015 after launching in February, and early this year, it snagged a pair of new indications--psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis--that’ll help pad that total for this year.

Still, though, Cosentyx will be far from alone in any of those disease areas. In psoriasis, Eli Lilly launched new-age rival Taltz earlier this year, and others aren’t far behind. Valeant is currently waiting for an FDA decision after an advisory panel backed its candidate brodalumab, and Johnson & Johnson over the weekend rolled out data showing its prospect guselkumab had beaten out AbbVie inflammatory giant Humira in a head-to-head study.

And in psoriatic arthritis, Pfizer’s Xeljanz for one is gearing up to provide a challenge. Companies including J&J--which makes blockbuster Stelara--could give Novartis a run for its money in ankylosing spondylitis, too, research and consulting firm GlobalData predicted last year. 

- read Novartis' release

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