Novartis' Cosentyx Shows Promising Early Progress in Treating Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Poised for Significant Future Adoption at the Expense of AbbVie's Humira

Despite the expanded armamentarium, Cosentyx has not impacted dermatologists’ perceived unmet need for new HS treatment options, according to Spherix Global Insights.

Exton, Pennsylvania, Jan. 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In late October 2023, the FDA granted approval to Novartis' Cosentyx (secukinumab) for treating hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), marking it as the second biologic approved alongside AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab) for addressing this chronic and debilitating dermatologic condition. Following the approval, Spherix Global Insights conducted research with US dermatologists (n=101) in November 2023 to assess the impact and shifting landscape of HS treatment. Analysis from the fourth annual update of Market Dynamix™: Hidradenitis Suppurativa reveals that while it is still early post-launch, prescribers are showing a clear affinity for Cosentyx, and the brand is poised to enjoy a very favorable market position as the launch progresses.

Less than one-month post-approval, just over half of participating dermatologists have already prescribed Cosentyx to at least one of their HS patients, with early feedback illustrating positive experiences and overall satisfaction on par with Humira. Furthermore, the early read suggests that Novartis’ brand outperforms Humira, at least perceptually, in overall response rate, patient satisfaction, and duration of response. Specifically, when queried head-to-head on which agent likely has better durability of response, nearly twice as many dermatologists selected Cosentyx compared to those selecting Humira. As one prescriber details, “I’m seeing a lot of those patients have more success on Cosentyx, although I think they are still early on.”

While efficacy concerns boil to the top of barriers for adalimumab use, it does not seem to significantly hinder Cosentyx's uptake. Reimbursement challenges stop prescribers from reaching for the IL-17A inhibitor, as expected for brands approved in new indications. Qualitative reports from Cosentyx users also suggest that Novartis is actively working on their reimbursement and patient support services as the newly approved asset navigates the payer landscape. One participant notes, “Right now Novartis is being really good and helping us with their bridge and access programs to get it approved...It is getting easier...” Interestingly, patient reluctance was reported as a primary barrier for both products at equal rates, suggesting this concept is a biologic barrier to entry.

Backed by positive experiences in psoriasis and with Novartis, most US dermatologists anticipate prescribing Cosentyx over the first half of 2024, with brand share for the IL-17A inhibitor nearly quadrupling in the same span of time. Conversely, and as a result from increased Cosentyx use, Humira share in HS is projected to drop substantially over the next six months.

Despite dermatologists welcoming Cosentyx with open arms, the overall estimated unmet need for HS treatments has remained unchanged. Neither Cosentyx nor Humira performs exceptionally well on sustained efficacy, decreasing abscess and inflammatory nodules, or at reducing skin pain, underscoring ongoing unmet need. Further, dermatologists also cite a current need for treatments to address tunneling and scarring. However, a paradigm shift to earlier biologic use, addressing inflammation before tunneling or scarring occurs, could mitigate this need.

Spherix will be tracking the launch of Cosentyx in HS for the first eighteen months of commercial availability via its Launch Dynamix™ service. This comprehensive series offers monthly evaluations of key performance metrics that are benchmarked to analogue launches, as well as quarterly in-depth quantitative and qualitative research, which provide insights into key variables that help assess a product’s success.

Market Dynamix™ is an independent service providing analysis of markets anticipated to experience a paradigm shift within the next three to five years. Insights highlight market size, current treatment approaches, unmet needs, and expert opinions on the likely disruption introduced by pipeline agents.

Launch Dynamix™ is an independent service providing monthly benchmarking of newly launched products for the first eighteen months of commercial availability, augmented by a quarterly deep dive into promotional activity, barriers to uptake, and patient types gravitating to the launch brand.

About Spherix Global Insights

Spherix Global Insights is a leading provider of market research, business intelligence and advisory services to the global life sciences industry. The company’s unique service offerings are powered by deep therapeutic knowledge, the Spherix Network specialty physician panel, and commercially relevant analyses to enable strategic decision-making by our valued customers.

A trusted advisor and industry thought leader, Spherix Global Insights provides specialized market expertise in six (6) focused therapeutic areas including: dermatology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, rheumatology, and ophthalmology.

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