Novartis psoriasis drug effective when self-administered - studies

ZURICH, March 22 Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:01am EDT

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ZURICH, March 22 (Reuters) - Results of two late-stage clinical trials showed high efficacy for Novartis' drug secukinumab when used by patients suffering from moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, the Swiss drugmaker said on Saturday.

The results of the Phase III studies presented at the American Academy of Dermatology in Denver showed how effective secukinumab was in clearing patients' skin when administered with a pre-filled syringe or autoinjector pen.

Both methods of delivery allow patients to self-administer the drug at home or in the workplace rather than having to visit a healthcare practice.

"It is important that people living with psoriasis, a chronic skin disease, have highly effective and safe treatments they can conveniently self-administer," said Tim Wright, global head of development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Plaque psoriasis is a painful and unsightly skin condition which is known to cause itching and scaling and affects approximately 125 million people.

Patients administering secukinumab experienced significant improvements in clearing skin after 12 weeks versus placebo, while patient satisfaction scores were also consistently high, Novartis said.

The data follow results last year showing the drug was superior to Amgen's Enbrel in a head-to-head study.

Novartis has filed the drug, which is also called AIN457, for approval by health regulators in Europe and the United States. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Mark Potter)

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