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Novartis’ Cosentyx reduces synovitis in new psoriatic arthritis study

Novartis’ interleukin-17A (IL-17A) Cosentyx (secukinumab) demonstrated early synovitis reduction in patients with active psoriatic arthritis in the phase IIIb ULTIMATE study.

Synovitis, or joint lining inflammation, was assessed using Power Doppler ultrasonography (PDUS), an advanced and sensitive imaging technique.

The primary endpoint, which used a standardised ultrasound synovitis score (GLOESS), showed objectively significant benefit of Cosentyx compared to placebo on synovitis at week 12, with early improvement observed from week one, according to Novartis.

Cosentyx treatment also significantly improved key second endpoints versus placebo, the Swiss pharma company added.

In psoriatic arthritis (PsA), synovitis can lead to joint damage and if left untreated, this damage can be irreversible.

In addition to reducing synovitis, Cosentyx has previously been shown to provide long-lasting inhibition of radiographic progression in PsA, limiting joint damage and helping to improve outcomes for patients.

“As a strong believer in the diagnostic and treatment monitoring benefits of ultrasound, this first large randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial in PsA with an ultrasonographic primary endpoint is incredibly exciting,” said Catherine Bakewell of the Intermountain Medical Group and an investigator in the ULTIMATE study.

“The ability to use a sensitive imaging technique to assess synovitis and enthesitis in PsA represents a breakthrough in how we conceptualise treatment goals,” she added.