Secukinumab in the Treatment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: A Review of the Literature

Skin Therapy Lett. 2017 Jul;22(4):1-6.


While there are several commercially available treatment options for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, there remains a large number of individuals who are refractory to current modalities. In the recent past, there has been increasing evidence that interleukin (IL)-17 plays a vital role in the pathophysiology of psoriasis. Preclinical, phase II, and phase III studies of secukinumab (Cosentyx®) targeting IL-17 and its receptor have thus far proved to be promising. We reviewed the results of phase II and phase III clinical trials for secukinumab in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Only published studies were considered in the present review. We also performed an English language literature search from January 2003 to September 2015 using PubMed with any of the following key words: (secukinumab OR AIN457) AND (psoriasis OR psoriatic arthritis). In our review of the literature, seven phase III and five phase II clinical trials, as well as open-label extension studies with unpublished findings were found. Results from phase III clinical trials indicated secukinumab to be efficacious and safe for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis according to Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) and American College of Rheumatology (ACR) scores. The safety profile of this agent was similar across all studies, with the most frequently reported adverse events of nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory infections, headache, and injection site reaction. Secukinumab demonstrates rapid and robust clinical improvement accompanied by a favorable short- term safety profile. The results of the phase III trials continue to reinforce the theory that the IL-17 pathway is an essential target in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis treatment. Additional extension studies of lower level evidence are needed to further understand the safety profile of the drug.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy*
  • Headache
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Interleukin-17
  • secukinumab