Study Finds That Secukinumab Provides Psoriatic Arthritics with Significant, Sustained Defense Against Joint Structural Damage

Researchers concluded that the drug secukinumab is associated with on-going inhibition of radiographic progression.

Researchers concluded that the drug secukinumab is associated with on-going inhibition of radiographic progression. The study was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology on July 27, 2016, and was conducted by Desiree van der Heijde MD, PhD, of Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, and colleagues.

The study was phase III, double-blind, placebo controlled, and involved 606 patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Radiography is used to monitor disease severity and the effectiveness of treatments in patients with PsA, and this study tracked radiology results from participants for 52 weeks.

Participants received either secukinumab (intravenously or subcutaneously) or a placebo on a 1:1:1 basis. Patients were assessed at week 16 and classified as either responders or nonresponders. Those receiving a placebo were re-randomized into the other two groups as well.

At week 24, patients were again assessed and the researchers found “secukinumab-treated patients showed significantly less radiographic progression from baseline to week 24 compared with placebo-treated patients.” Then, at week 52, the researchers say, “Inhibition of structural progression was also demonstrated in placebo-treated patients who switched to secukinumab.”

The researchers report “The results of the current study demonstrate that secukinumab inhibited radiographic disease progression in the overall PsA patient population, and that this inhibition was sustained for up to 52 weeks.” The patients in the placebo group showed significantly more disease progression than those in the other two groups. The researchers suggest that study of the difference in average progression rates among the groups should be done through “long-term observational cohorts.”

They also warn that “failure of anti-TNF [anti-tumor necrosis] treatment, loss of efficacy, and intolerance in some patients highlight the unmet need for new therapies with an alternative mechanism of action,” adding that the results from this study along with several others “may offer an additional therapeutic option for patients with PsA.”