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Two new treatments for axial SpA

People living with axial spondyloarthritis will have more treatment options thanks to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) announcing that two more medications will be available to those living with the condition.

The move is particularly beneficial for people who have had an adverse reaction to a treatment, have found a treatment ineffective or have found a treatment stops working.

In a survey we conducted in 2019, 88% of people thought that more treatments should be made available for the treatment of axial spondyloarthritis.

The two new treatments are:

· Secukinumab, will be available in England and Wales for non-radiographic axial SpA (where no changes are visible x-ray), as well as ankylosing spondylitis (changes on x-ray). Secukinumab was already available for both conditions in Scotland.

· Ixekizumab, will be available to people in England and Wales to treat all forms of axial spondyloarthritis, from non-radiographic axial SpA to ankylosing spondylitis.

These medications work by neutralising the activity of a protein in the body called IL-17A. They will be available to people who have not responded well to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, in the same way as anti TNF therapy.

Commenting on news Dr Dale Webb, CEO NASS said:

“With the right treatment and care people with axial SpA can live well with the condition. Getting the right medication can make the difference between people living the life the choose or living in pain and feeling cut-off from life.

“The introduction of more treatment options is a welcome step forward and will benefit thousands of people who have not responded well to the medications that are currently available.”

Anyone who thinks they would benefit from these treatments should discuss their options with their rheumatology teams.

To find out more about Secukinumab, read this article in the Daily Mail  which includes an interview with Dr Raj Sengupta, Consultant Rheumatologist and one of our medical advisors.