The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Novartis’ Cosentyx® (secukinumab) as an option for treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in children and young people aged 6 to 17 years who have not responded to other forms of systemic treatment or for whom these options were contraindicated or not tolerated.
Secukinumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a molecule involved in the psoriasis inflammatory response. It is the first IL-17A inhibitor to be recommended by NICE to treat children and young people with this condition, who will now have access to this treatment option on the NHS2.
Around 22,000 children and young people in the UK1, and up to 350,000 children worldwide4, experience this form of psoriasis, with onset most common during adolescence3. Once treatment is established, secukinumab is given by subcutaneous injection every four weeks; after training, it can be given by a child’s parent or carer at home.
Doctor Anthony Bewley, Dermatologist at Barts Health, London, said: “Psoriasis is a chronic condition, which in the most severe cases causes persistent and disabling symptoms. I’ve heard from many young people how psoriasis has negatively affected them by knocking their confidence and making it difficult for them to enjoy even straightforward things like going to school or spending time out with friends. This NICE recommendation means that young people with this form of psoriasis, where appropriate, will now have access to secukinumab, which can be an effective treatment option and can really help them manage their psoriasis symptoms.”
Chinmay Batt, Managing Director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, Ireland and Nordics said: “This recommendation means we can reimagine psoriasis care by giving children and young people an effective treatment option they can have at home. This will benefit patients and help ease pressure on the NHS as we build back services around the pandemic. With further global filings for childhood arthritic conditions, we are closer to our goal of expanding secukinumab to 10 indications over 10 years.”