According to a story from Ankylosing Spondylitis News, findings from a phase 3 clinical trial suggest that the drug secukinumab (marketed as Cosentyx) could be an effective treatment for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. Cosentyx is a treatment developed by Novartis and is currently used to treat psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis. Patients in the trial were treated for a period of one year.
About Axial Spondyloarthritis
Axial spondyloarthritis is an umbrella term that encompasses autoinflammatory diseases that affect the joints of the spine and the sacrum. Radiographic axial spondyloarthritis is essentially a synonym for ankylosing spondylitis. Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis simply refers to less advanced disease in which changes to joints are not yet visible on a radiograph. The onset of symptoms often begins in early adulthood. These symptoms may include relapsing/remitting back pain, progressive joint stiffening, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Inflammation can spread to other parts of the body, such as the eyes, the cardiovascular system, and lungs. No cure for the disease exists, so treatment focuses on pain management and slowing disease progression. Treatment may include NSAIDs, opioids, TNF inhibitors, physical therapy, surgery, and some others. Unfortunately, most therapies can cause serious side effects with long term use. To learn more about axial spondyloarthritis, click here.
In the trial, Cosentyx was able to achieve its primary and secondary endpoints. The impact of the treatment was evaluated using the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society response criteria (ASAS40). The goal was an improvement of at least ten units (or 40 percent) in three out of four main criteria domains.
As the drug is already approved for related diseases, it is hardly surprising that it was able to benefit the patients in this clinical trial. Cosentyx is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activity of a cytokine called IL-17A, which is known to instigate inflammatory activity.
Patients with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis can potentially look forward to the drug being approved as a new treatment option for their disease. Novartis plans to submit an approval request to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the not too distant future.