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NICE approves Cosentyx for children and young people with psoriasis

Rod Tucker
7 September, 2021  

The biologic Cosentyx (secukinumab) has been approved by NICE for the management of children and young people with plaque psoriasis.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of the monoclonal antibody Cosentyx (secukinumab) as an option for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in children and young people aged 6 to 17 years of age. It is only recommended where the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI), which is a measure of disease severity, is greater than 10 (meaning moderate to severe disease) and where other systemic therapies have been unsuccessful. The systemic therapies mentioned in the guidance are ciclosporin, methotrexate, as well as phototherapy, although Cosentyx can also be used in cases where any of these treatments are contra-indicated. In addition, NICE has recommended use of Cosentyx only where the manufacturer provides the drug in line with an agreed commercial arrangement.

The outcome of interest when using Cosentyx is the achievement of a PASI75, i.e., a 75% improvement in disease severity, after 12 weeks of treatment. If such an improvement has not occurred, then NICE recommends stopping Cosentyx. A further point in the guideline is that where a clinician considers that secukinumab is the most appropriate therapy, the least expensive option should be used and it has been increasing recognised that there are huge potential and achievable savings for the NHS through the use of biosimilars,

In making its decision, NICE received information on the comparative clinical efficacy of other biologics used in psoriasis including etanercept, adalimumab and ustekinumab. The committee noted from studies that secukinumab was more effective than etanercept, based on a higher proportion of participants achieving a PASI75 and that the efficacy was comparable with ustekinumab. Although there were no direct comparisons of Cosentyx with adalimumab in the paediatric population, a network meta-analysis submitted by the manufacturer, showed that adalimumab was as effective as ustekinumab. Furthermore, there were no differences in safety outcomes for Cosentyx compared with other similar biologics.

Source. NICE 2021