Psoriatic arthritis, being slightly less common than rheumatoid arthritis, garners less research than rheumatoid arthritis. However, more than 2 million Americans struggle with the devastating effects of this disease, which causes chronic, painful inflammation of the joints and connective tissue. It’s common for psoriatic arthritis to develop about a decade after psoriasis.
Cosentyx® (secukinumab) is an injectable medication already FDA-approved for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This medication targets IL-17A, a protein in the immune system that is thought to play a role in inflammation and skin plaque growth. Now, new research has investigated whether this medication could also benefit those with psoriatic arthritis.
Various doses of Cosentyx (or a placebo) were administered as a subcutaneous injection weekly for a month and then monthly for the remainder of the six-month study. Of the nearly 400 patients with psoriatic arthritis in this study, those receiving Cosentyx in the dosages of 300 mg. or 150 mg. showed significantly improved signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. This assessment was based on patients achieving at least 20% improvement in the American College of Rheumatology response criteria (ACR20) by the end of the study period.
With such positive results at the advanced clinical testing level, it may not be long before this medication is available as another tool for addressing psoriatic arthritis.
Stephen C. Vogt, Pharm.D.
President and CEO
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy
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McInnes IB, Mease PJ, Kirkham B, et al. Secukinumab, a human anti-interleukin-17A monoclonal antibody, in patients with psoriatic arthritis (FUTURE 2): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet 2015;386(9999):1137-46.