IL-17A Experimental Human-Antibody Drug Gets Results

Novartis' experimental drug treats three autoimmune disorders.

Novartis’ experimental drug AIN457, or secukinumab, was proven effective in treating three autoimmune disorders, according to the results of a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The experimental drug is a human antibody to Interleukin-17A, a protein that plays a role in inflammation. The drug works by targeting this pathway and reducing the inflammation.The experimental drug may compete with the anti-TNF class of medications.

The study was designed to “determine whether IL-17A mediates human inflammatory diseases.” The team investigated the efficacy and safety of the experimental drug in treating psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic noninfectious uveitis.

The study enrolled 104 patients, according to an article in Bloomberg News. Of the total enrolled, “60 received the experimental drug, in three separate early-stage trials.”

The team evaluated efficacy by measuring scores with the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI), the American Collefe of Rheumatology 20% response (ACR20), and “the number of responders for eveitis, as defined by either vision improvement or reduction in ocular inflammation or corticosteroid dose,” the authors wrote.

The results demonstrated that the experimental drug “induced clinically relevant responses of variable magnitude in patients suffering from each of these diverse immune-mediated diseases,” they wrote.

The Bloomberg article reports that Novartis plans to “ask U.S. regulators for marketing approval for the drug in a form of uveitis,” by the end of this year.

A Reuter’s article highlights the results as well revealing “the psoriasis patients had reduced scaly skin patches and lower production of inflammatory proteins, the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients were less swollen, and uveitis patients had less eye inflammation and minor vision improvement.”

The article goes on to quote Dhavalkumar Patel of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, who led the research. It reads, “Patel said Novartis was also investigating secukinumab in other diseases, including psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, two other conditions associated with psoriasis and arthritis.”

Patel is quoted as saying: “We're seeing good results in other diseases too, so our hope is that this particular compound will have a lot of indications," he said.

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