Secukinumab: the new medicine that solves psoriasis

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About 125 million people worldwide suffer from psoriasis.

The symptoms that characterize this disease may be more or less severe ranging from itch to lesions such as erythematous papules and plaques of different sizes, scurfy scales on the skin, general dermatosis with debilitating arthritis and rashes.

The areas where the lesions appear are mainly the scalp, the elbows, the low back, the knees. Sometimes it may even appear on the genitals, on the soles of the feet and on the palms of the hands.

The quality of life of the people who suffer from psoriasis is strongly influenced by the troubles associated with it.

The constant itching and physical pain can interfere with normal everyday activities such as sleep and psychologically, the discomfort caused by striking lesions, may lead to a strong sense of shame, causing problems in social relations and even depression.

Current therapies are either topical (i.e. they are directly applied on the lesions) or systemic (oral medications), and both are aimed to reduce the inflammatory and immune response of the skin. To soothe the lesions, it is possible to use different types of gels that contain derivatives vitamin D and topical corticosteroids which does not grease the skin. Otherwise, it is possible to use the phototherapy based on narrow band UVB lamps, which has to be performed only in specialized centers. Biological drugs on the market are recommended as a second-line systemic therapy as they  do not usually meet the needs of patients.

Novartis (a Swiss multinational company operating in the pharmaceutical sector) has been working in the last years to develop a new drug, Secukinumab, the first fully human inhibitor that can guarantee a skin free or nearly free from lesions.

The medicine, approved by the European Commission (EC), is a first-line systemic treatment for plaque psoriasis that has been proved to be superior than any other medicine such as Etanercept or Ustekinumab.

The results of the tests, in 300 mg doses, were exceptional.

As many as 70% of patients completely or almost completely solved the problem of skin lesions during the first 16 weeks of treatment. The excellent result remained unchanged until the 526th  week  of treatment, and it significantly improved the patient’s quality of life.

Cecilia Natale

About Cecilia Natale

Cecilia is a translator. She has a bachelor degree in Intercultural and linguistic communication and a master degree in Specialized translation, both obtained at the University of Bologna – Forlì Branch. She loves travelling, reading, writing and she never gets tired of discovering new places and cultures. She’s from Porto San Giorgio, a small city near the sea in the region Marche, in Italy. After various academic experiences in Barcelona, the city has become her second home.

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