BACKGROUND: Few therapeutic options are available for patients with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa. We aimed to assess the efficacy of secukinumab in patients with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa in two randomised trials.
METHODS: SUNSHINE and SUNRISE were identical, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase 3 trials done in 219 primary sites in 40 countries. Patients aged 18 years old or older with the capacity to provide written informed consent and with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa (defined as a total of ≥5 inflammatory lesions affecting ≥2 distinct anatomical areas) for at least 1 year were eligible for inclusion. Included patients also agreed to daily use of topical over-the-counter antiseptics on the areas affected by hidradenitis suppurativa lesions while on study treatment. Patients were excluded if they had 20 or more fistulae at baseline, had ongoing active conditions requiring treatment with prohibited medication (eg, systemic biological immunomodulating treatment, live vaccines, or other investigational treatments), or met other exclusion criteria. In both trials, patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) by means of interactive response technology to receive subcutaneous secukinumab 300 mg every 2 weeks, subcutaneous secukinumab 300 mg every 4 weeks, or subcutaneous placebo all via a 2 mL prefilled syringe in a double-dummy method as per treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with a hidradenitis suppurativa clinical response, defined as a decrease in abscess and inflammatory nodule count by 50% or more with no increase in the number of abscesses or in the number of draining fistulae compared with baseline, at week 16, assessed in the overall population. Hidradenitis suppurativa clinical response was calculated based on the number of abscesses, inflammatory nodules, draining fistulae, total fistulae, and other lesions in the hidradenitis suppurativa affected areas. Safety was assessed by evaluating the presence of adverse events and serious adverse events according to common terminology criteria for adverse events, which were coded using Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities terminology. Both the SUNSHINE, NCT03713619, and SUNRISE, NCT03713632, trials are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov.
FINDINGS: Between Jan 31, 2019, and June 7, 2021, 676 patients were screened for inclusion in the SUNSHINE trial, of whom 541 (80%; 304 [56%] women and 237 [44%] men; mean age 36·1 years [SD 11·7]) were included in the analysis (181 [33%] in the secukinumab every 2 weeks group, 180 [33%] in the secukinumab every 4 weeks group, and 180 [33%] in the placebo group). Between the same recruitment dates, 687 patients were screened for inclusion in the SUNRISE trial, of whom 543 (79%; 306 [56%] women and 237 [44%] men; mean age 36·3 [11·4] years) were included in the analysis (180 [33%] in the secukinumab every 2 weeks group, 180 [33%] in the secukinumab every 4 weeks group, and 183 [34%] in the placebo group). In the SUNSHINE trial, significantly more patients in the secukinumab every 2 weeks group had a hidradenitis suppurativa clinical response (rounded average number of patients with response in 100 imputations, 81·5 [45%] of 181 patients) compared with the placebo group (60·7 [34%] of 180 patients; odds ratio 1·8 [95% CI 1·1-2·7]; p=0·0070). However, there was no significant difference between the number of patients in the secukinumab every 4 weeks group (75·2 [42%] of 180 patients) and the placebo group (1·5 [1·0-2·3]; p=0·042). Compared with the placebo group (57·1 [31%] of 183 patients), significantly more patients in the secukinumab every 2 weeks group (76·2 [42%] of 180 patients; 1·6 [1·1-2·6]; p=0·015) and the secukinumab every 4 weeks group (83·1 [46%] of 180 patients; 1·9 [1·2-3·0]; p=0·0022) had a hidradenitis suppurativa clinical response in the SUNRISE trial. Patient responses were sustained up to the end of the trials at week 52. The most common adverse event by preferred term up to week 16 was headache in both the SUNSHINE (17 [9%] patients in the secukinumab every 2 weeks group, 20 [11%] in the secukinumab every 4 weeks group, and 14 [8%] in the placebo group) and SUNRISE (21 [12%] patients in the secukinumab every 2 weeks group, 17 [9%] in the secukinumab every 4 weeks group, and 15 [8%] in the placebo group) trials. No study-related deaths were reported up to week 16. The safety profile of secukinumab in both trials was consistent with that previously reported, with no new or unexpected safety findings detected.
INTERPRETATION: When given every 2 weeks, secukinumab was clinically effective at rapidly improving signs and symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa with a favourable safety profile and with sustained response up to 52 weeks of treatment.
FUNDING: Novartis Pharma.