Swiss-based healthcare company Novartis has reported positive results from the extension A2302E1 trial of Cosentyx (secukinumab), indicating the product's ability to modify the course of moderate-to-severe psoriasis with long-term and treatment-free skin clearance.

Cosentyx is a fully human, specific inhibitor of the IL-17A cytokine and is claimed to be the first and only inhibitor to have such an effect on the disease.

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In the A2302E1 trial, patients were randomised to either continuous treatment or treatment cessation until relapse, after one year of treatment with the product.

Designed to examine patients after discontinuation of Cosentyx, A2302E1 is an extension of Phase III trials ERASURE and FIXTURE.

"Cosentyx is a fully human, specific inhibitor of the IL-17A cytokine and is claimed to be the first and only inhibitor to have such an effect on the disease."

It was found that patients who received continuous treatment maintained a high level of response, while 21% of the patients with discontinued treatment maintained skin clearance for about one year and 10% maintained skin clearance after two years.

Novartis drug development global head and chief medical officer Vas Narasimhan said: "These results suggest that Cosentyx may go beyond simply treating symptoms and could actually modify the course of psoriasis, and highlights the need for further investigation into early intervention.

"Being able to change the course of disease is the ultimate goal of treatment, which is why we are investing in the STEPIn trial to further understand the disease modifying ability of Cosentyx in psoriasis."

STEPIn is a multi-centre, randomised clinical trial designed to assess the effect of subcutaneous secukinumab 300mg given for 52 weeks when compared to standard treatment with narrow-band UVB.

The trial will primarily determine the benefit of early secukinumab treatment, as well as its ability to alter the natural course of psoriasis with a decreased disease burden and need for treatment.