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Hello Lauren,

Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community! This new drug is certainly a hot topic and I hope to provide you with some helpful information.

About 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease that can cause raised, red patches on the skin that are covered in dead skin cells, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Cosentyx (secukinumab) to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.  

Cosentyx’s active ingredient is secukinumab. Secukinumab is an antibody that binds to a protein (interleukin (IL)-17A) which is involved in inflammation. By binding to IL-17A, secukinumab prevents it from binding to its receptor, and inhibits its ability to trigger the inflammatory response that plays a role in the development of plaque psoriasis.

David Epstein, division head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement, “The FDA’s approval of Cosentyx signifies a turning point for psoriasis patients, who can now benefit from the first and only approved treatment targeting the IL-17 pathway.”

FDA said in a statement, Cosentyx is administered as an injection under the skin. It is intended for patients who are candidates for systemic therapy, treatment using substances that travel through the bloodstream, and ultraviolet light therapy, or a combination of both.

The most common side effects include diarrhea and upper respiratory infections, the agency said. Caution should be exercised when considering the use of Cosentyx in patients with a chronic infection or history of recurrent infection, and in patients with active Crohn’s Disease.

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January 22, 2015 - 2:09pm


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