Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company,
) recently announced phase II data on its pipeline candidate,
AIN457 (secukinumab), which is being developed for the treatment of
moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis on the hands, feet and
Data from the double-blind phase II study showed that during the
first month, weekly treatment with AIN457 helped reduce pain
associated with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis on the hand and
feet almost three times more than placebo (54.3% versus 19.2%).
Additionally, after 12 weeks of treatment with AIN457, 39% of
the patients experienced either "clear" or "minimal" psoriasis.
AIN457 was also found to reduce signs and symptoms of finger nail
psoriasis in patients, when compared to placebo.
Further data presented at the European Academy of Dermatology
and Venereology (EADV), by Novartis, for the relief in signs and
symptoms of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis showed that 12
weeks of treatment with AIN457, improved the quality of life
(skin-related) in 25 times more patients in comparison to
Novartis stated in its press release that plaque psoriasis
affects about 2% of the world's population, out of which more than
one third of patients suffer from its moderate-to-severe form.
Novartis is currently on track with pivotal phase III studies on
AIN457 and expects data in 2013. The company is planning to file
for regulatory approval once phase III results are available.
Novartis is also studying AIN457 in phase II trials for the
treatment of multiple sclerosis.
We note already approved drugs for the treatment of
moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis include
Johnson & Johnson
) Humira and
Currently, we have a Neutral recommendation on Novartis. The
company carries a Zacks #3 Rank ("Hold" rating) in the short
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