Novartis, Lilly and more look for psoriasis edge with new data at AAD

Washington D.C. skyline featuring Washington monument
The American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting took place over the weekend in Washington, D.C. (Pixabay)

The psoriasis field has been fiercely competitive for a few years now, and drugmakers used last weekend’s American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting in Washington, D.C., to trumpet new data they hoped would help them get a leg up on rivals. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the weekend’s most important results.

Novartis' Cosentyx

Novartis trotted out data from a study of Chinese patients showing that its Cosentyx could help nearly 9 of 10 patients achieve clear or almost clear skin within the first 16 weeks of treatment. Up to 97.7% of psoriasis sufferers treated with a 300mg dose of the Swiss drugmaker’s blockbuster achieved a score of 75 on the PASI index, a commonly used metric for measuring psoriasis treatment efficacy, and 80.9% hit PASI 90 by week 12.

By week 16, the percentage of patients at PASI 90 had climbed to 87%. Among those receiving a 150mg dose, 87.8% reached PASI 75 and 66.4% reached PASI 90 at week 12.

"Cosentyx continues to deliver what psoriasis patients need—reimagining care to provide clear skin and a complete treatment," Eric Hughes, Novartis’ global immunology development head and China development head, said in a statement.

Sun Pharma's Ilumya

Sun Pharma, meanwhile, used AAD to trumpet long-term, three-year data for its contender Ilumya. Results from two studies showed that among both those who had already used a biologic treatment and those who hadn’t, Ilumya provoked a PASI response of 50 or greater at the 28-week mark that had lasted or continued to increase through Week 52.

"It's very encouraging to see these effective response rates with Ilumya over a three-year period, because as clinicians we're often faced with the challenge of finding the right treatment that addresses the chronic nature of plaque psoriasis,” Andrew Blauvelt, M.D., president of the Oregon Medical Research Center, said in a statement. He also pointed to Ilumya’s “HCP administration model” as a positive when it comes to drug adherence. Competitors—Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya among them—are meanwhile rolling out at-home dosing options for a convenience edge.

Eli Lilly's Taltz

Eli Lilly also had long-term data to share, though its results extended through four years of treatment with psoriasis player Taltz. Its study showed that Taltz could sustain a “high-efficacy response” through four years of continuous treatment, even in difficult-to-treat areas such as the scalp. And no new safety red flags popped up despite the longer treatment duration, the company said.

Abbvie's risankizumab

AbbVie, for its part, set out to show that patients were better off switching from stalwart Humira to up-and-comer risankizumab as the former nears biosimilar competition. Among Humira-treated patients with PASI scores between 50 and 90 at week 16, 66% of those who jumped to risankizumab achieved PASI 90, compared with 21.4% of those who continued on Humira.

And 39.6% of switchers hit PASI 100, versus just 7.1% of those who stayed the course on Humira. Humira-treated patients with PASI scores below 50 saw better results switching to AbbVie’s prospect, too.