New drug ixekizumab (Taltz) may reduce ankylosing spondylitis symptoms

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ixekizumab,Taltz, ankylosing spondylitis, back pain, spine arthritisIxekizumab (Taltz) appears to improve the signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis compared with placebo says a press release from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

Ixekizumab, which is administered by subcutaneous injection, is currently approved in the UK for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, and is being considered as a treatment for people with psoriatic arthritis.

Now a 16-week trial has evaluated its safety and efficacy when it comes to treating ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine).

People who have an intolerance of, or an inadequate response to, TNF inhibitors were included in the study. The researchers compared the efficacy and incidence of serious adverse events between those treated with 80mg of ixekizumab or a sham drug. They found that:

  • Ixekizumab demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis compared with placebo;
  • The occurrence of adverse events was similar between the two groups.

The findings haven’t yet been reviewed by independent experts but that is high on Eli Lilly’s agenda. Ixekizumab to treat ankylosing spondylitis will be submitted for regulatory approval later this year.

“These positive results… provide further support for Taltz as a potential treatment option for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, including those who have had an inadequate response to treatment with TNF inhibitors, a difficult-to-treat population,” comments Dr Lotus Mallbris from Eli Lilly.

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