Novartis adds to its case for secukinumab for ankylosing spondylitis

Novartis ($NVS) continued to build its case for secukinumab (AIN457), an IL-17A inhibitor in development for a range of inflammatory conditions. Their late-stage study for ankylosing spondylitis met the primary endpoint, demonstrating "rapid and statistically significant improvements versus placebo in the signs and symptoms of AS." In particular, more than 60% of patients receiving 150 mg of secukinumab achieved an ASAS20 response. Novartis has long believed that secukinumab represents one of its best late-stage efforts. And it's wasting no time in targeting a lineup of global approvals to drive a marketing campaign for several conditions. In addition to its near-term prospects for an approval on plaque psoriasis, which could land before the end of this year, Novartis says that it's marching straight to new applications in 2015 for AS as well as psoriatic arthritis. Release