Primary efficacy of netakimab, a novel interleukin-17 inhibitor, in the treatment of active ankylosing spondylitis in adults

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2020 Jan-Feb;38(1):27-34. Epub 2019 Apr 16.


Objectives: Netakimab (NTK) is a humanised monoclonal antibody targeting interleukin-17A, previously investigated in a phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers. Here, we report the results of a phase 2 trial, conducted to assess safety and pharmacokinetics (PK), to establish a therapeutic dose of NTK in a target population of patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

Methods: 89 patients with active AS, despite non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug treatment, were randomised to receive 40, 80 or 120 mg of subcutaneous NTK or placebo at weeks 0, 1, 2 and q2wk thereafter until week 12. The primary endpoint was to achieve a proportion of patients with ≥20% improvement in Assessment of Spondyloarthritis.

Results: Rates of ASAS20 response at week 16 for NTK with 95%CI for difference in ASAS20 rates NTK vs. placebo were 72.73% [1.69%;58.05%], 81.82% [12.36%;65.56%], 90.91% [23.71%;72.39%] at doses of 40, 80 and 120 mg. The response rate in the placebo arm was 42.86%. The pre-specified margin of clinically non-meaningful difference was 10%. Superiority to placebo was confirmed for doses 80 and 120 mg. The most frequent adverse events (AEs) were lymphocytosis, neutropenia, and asymptomatic bacteriuria. No dose-dependent toxicity or serious adverse events (SAEs) were observed. The most effective dose with the fastest response onset and favourable safety profile was 120 mg.

Conclusions: The data obtained demonstrate the efficacy and favourable safety profile of NTK in active AS. Clinical development of NTK will be continued in a phase 3 trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy of 1-year treatment with NTK 120 mg in patients with AS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Interleukin-17