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FDA Approves Psoriasis Drug

January 21, 2015

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved secukinumab  (Cosentyx), made by Novartis, to treat adult patients experiencing moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.  

Secukinumab is administered via an injection. The drug is an antibody that binds to the protein interlukin-17A, which prevents it from binding to its receptor, stopping an inflammatory response, according to the FDA’s statement.

In July, a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated the efficacy of the treatment. But it was noted that patients taking secukinumab experienced rates of infection comparable to those taking etanercept and higher than those on placebo, Reuters reported.

In October, a statement was released by FDA staff indicating that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks associated with its use. An FDA advisory panel then voted unanimously to recommend the drug’s approval, Reuters reported.


1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Drug Information Update - FDA approves new psoriasis drug Cosentyx. 2015 Jan 21.

2. Reuters staff. FDA panel unanimously backs Novartis’ psoriasis drug. Pharmacy Learning Network. 2014 Oct. 21.

3. Reuters staff. Benefits of Psoriasis drug secukinumab outweigh risks – FDA staff. Pharmacy Learning Network. 2014 Oct 16.

4. Brooks M. IL-17 inhibition may “change paradigm” of psoriasis treatment. Pharmacy Learning Network. 2014 Jul 14.

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