Alexa Kimball, MD, MPH: Updates on Secukinumab Treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa


An interview segment with Alexa Kimball, MD, MPH, in which she describes further updates on 52 week trial data in the SUNRISE and SUNSHINE trials for HS.

In another segment from her recent HCPLive interview on the SUNRISE and SUNSHINE trial data on secukinumab (Cosentyx) for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) patients, Alexa Kimball, MD, MPH, further described the 52-week data.

Kimball is known not only for her work as a dermatologist, but also as a professor of dermatology for Harvard Medical School and as a board member at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Kimball described the latest data on secukinumab, an antibody raised to directly inhibit interleukin-17A (IL-17A) and reduce inflammation. According to Kimball, the trials’ results largely resembled those from the 16-week data.

“I wasn't surprised to see continued improvement, but it was nice to see how substantial it was,” Kimball said. “Over time, we are still going to have to do some further work to kind of sort out what the right doses are at the beginning, at the end. It's different from some of the other skin diseases we treat, in that it does feel like higher doses at the beginning might be more important in this disease, and that the persistence of some of our therapies might also be better.”

Kimball also went into a brief description of the safety profile of secukinumab in the trials, which again she states largely did not change from 16 to 52 weeks.

“There was really nothing new in this study that was a new signal that we detected in any way,” she said. “We continue to monitor patients. HS patients are going to be a little bit different than psoriasis patients, they tend to be heavier, they tend to be more likely to be female, they tend to have different comorbidities. So we'll have to pay attention to that.”

Kimball also added that a positive message she feels should be drawn from these results is that the medication, which clinicians have been prescribing for years for other conditions, can be hopefully added to the HS repertoire.
“Earlier last year, I reported…the results of the 16 week data for secukinumab versus placebo, and showed nice statistical differences between the treatment arms and placebo group,” she explained. “In the paper that we published, we were able to expand upon that through Week 52, and show that there was continued improvement over time, which is consistent with my experience in using these types of medications and the HS patients.

She added after stating this that HS is a disease that takes some time to get under better control for clinicians.

Kimball also noted that getting HS patients referred to the right places for proper care is a gap in understanding that she hopes can be improved upon in the coming years.

“They are in emergency departments, they are in primary care offices, they're in OB/GYN offices, and some (dermatology) offices, and sometimes nowhere…” she explained. “The gap between diagnosis and initial symptoms in lots of patients is almost a decade. It's around probably 8 years now. I think we're seeing it shrink down a little but we need to get those folks in.”

To learn more about Kimball’s team’s recent findings, watch the full interview segment above.

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