Novartis’ Cosentyx beats J&J, Lilly to land first-in-class Chinese psoriasis nod

Novartis’ psoriasis blockbuster Cosentyx has beaten out rivals from Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson as the first interleukin inhibitor approved in China. China’s National Medical Product Administration has approved Cosentyx to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients, Novartis said Tuesday. The nod comes months after the Center for Drug Evaluation put Cosentyx among 48 “clinically urgently needed drugs,” for which the agency invites their makers to file applications based on foreign data. Novartis does have some China-specific data to back its case. In an ongoing phase 3 trial that includes 441 Chinese patients, Cosentyx achieved clear or almost clear skin—reaching a score of 90 on the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI)—in 80.9% of patients during the first 12 weeks, and expanded the effect to 87% of patients after 16 weeks, according to data unveiled at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting in March. That trial will follow all 543 patients for a total of 52 weeks.

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