New biologic approved in Scotland for hidradenitis suppurativa


Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) is now available in Scotland, following positive advice from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

It is licensed for adults with active moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) (acne inversa) who have responded inadequately to conventional systemic HS therapy.

The advice applies for use in adult patients with active moderate to severe HS for whom adalimumab is contraindicated or otherwise unsuitable, including those who have failed to respond or have lost response to prior adalimumab treatment.

“We are delighted that the SMC has decided to make secukinumab available to eligible people in Scotland living with HS. Those living with the condition often experience debilitating pain, which can make everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing and sitting at a desk chair really challenging”, said Phil Brady, Chief Operating Officer at the British Skin Foundation. “New treatment options are needed to help the HS community find relief from the burden of this disease.”

Cosentyx is the first and only fully human biologic that directly inhibits interleukin-17A, an important cytokine involved in the inflammation of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).

It is the second biologic treatment option to receive positive SMC advice for the treatment of HS, offering a new option to help patients manage their condition.

Positive step for HS sufferers

HS affects approximately 2% of the Scottish population, and on average, it takes 10 years for people living with HS to receive a correct diagnosis, resulting in disease progression and significantly impacting their quality of life.

“Until now, there has only been one approved treatment for HS (adalimumab), which may not be suitable for everyone,” said Dr Fiona Craig, Consultant Dermatologist, Scotland. “The approval of secukinumab for HS by the SMC is a positive step for sufferers of this condition and provides physicians in Scotland with a second treatment option that has been shown to reduce disease activity and improve the quality of life for patients with HS.”

The approval by the SMC is based on robust results from two trials in the largest Phase III programme in HS to date, SUNSHINE and SUNRISE11-13. The data showed that treatment response rates in patients randomised to secukinumab continued to improve beyond the primary endpoint analysis at Week 16, with more than 55% of patients achieving a Hidradenitis Suppurativa Clinical Response at Week 5211-5213.

Additionally, approximately 50% of patients randomised to secukinumab had a reduction in HS-related pain at Week 5211-13. Safety findings were consistent with the generally well tolerated safety profile of secukinumab in its approved dermatological and rheumatological licensed indications, further supported by data from eight years of real-world use.

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