Lilly's Taltz® (ixekizumab) is the First IL-17A Antagonist to Receive U.S. FDA Approval for the Treatment of Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Taltz® (ixekizumab)

Medicina y Salud Pública

    Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Taltz® (ixekizumab) injection 80 mg/mL for the treatment of active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in patients with objective signs of inflammation. Another first-in-class milestone for the treatment, today's approval makes Taltz the first IL-17A antagonist to be approved by the FDA for nr-axSpA.

    Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), which includes both AS and nr-axSpA, is a disease predominantly affecting the sacroiliac joints and the spine, resulting in chronic inflammatory back pain and fatigue.1,2,3 It is estimated that 2.3 million people in the U.S. have axSpA, and approximately half of those individuals live with nr-axSpA.2,4 For patients with AS, the disease is characterized by the presence of structural damage of the sacroiliac joints that appears on an X-ray, while patients with nr-axSpA do not have clearly detectable structural damage radiographically.5 These two patient subsets share a similar burden of disease and similar clinical features, but approved biologic treatment options for patients with nr-axSpA are much more limited and patients are often underdiagnosed.5,6

    "We recognize that many patients living with this condition suffer from chronic inflammatory back pain and other symptoms of inflammation for years before being diagnosed, and we're excited about the possibility of these patients finding relief with Taltz," said Patrik Jonsson, senior vice president and president of Lilly Bio-Medicines. "This approval reflects Lilly's continued growth and commitment to supporting rheumatologists and people with autoimmune conditions, including nr-axSpA."

    This approval is based on the results from the Phase 3 COAST-X trial, which evaluated improvement in signs and symptoms of nr-axSpA as measured by the proportion of patients who achieved Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society 40 (ASAS40) response criteria compared to placebo. ASAS40 measures disease signs and symptoms such as pain, inflammation and function.

    The safety profile of Taltz in patients with nr-axSpA was consistent with previous experience with Taltz in other approved indications. Taltz should not be used in patients with a previous serious hypersensitivity reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to ixekizumab or to any of the excipients. Taltz may increase the risk of infection. Other warnings and precautions for Taltz include pre-treatment evaluation for tuberculosis, hypersensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, and immunizations. See Important Safety Information below.

    "There are limited treatment options that can address both AS and nr-axSpA symptoms, and people living with these conditions are often underdiagnosed and undertreated," said Cassie Shafer, chief executive officer of the Spondylitis Association of America. "This approval represents an important milestone in providing relief to patients where there has been a significant unmet need."

    This approval reaffirms the long track record that Taltz has in providing efficacy for patients in multiple indications. This is the fifth approval for Taltz, which was first approved by the FDA in March 2016 for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (PsO) in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. The FDA also approved Taltz for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in December 2017, for the treatment of adults with active AS in August 2019 and for moderate to severe plaque PsO in pediatric patients 6 years of age and older who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy in March 2020.

    In COAST-X, the safety and efficacy of Taltz was demonstrated in a Phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 52-week study of adult patients with active nr-axSpA with objective signs of inflammation. The primary endpoint of the study was the proportion of patients achieving ASAS40 at Week 52. The proportion of Taltz patients (n=96) achieving the primary endpoint was superior to placebo (n=105), with 30 percent of patients treated with Taltz 80 mg every four weeks achieving ASAS40 response compared to 13 percent of patients treated with placebo at Week 52 (P=0.0045). A major secondary endpoint was ASAS40 response at Week 16 with 35 percent of Taltz patients compared to 19 percent of placebo patients achieving that endpoint (P<0.01).

    "In the COAST-X study, Taltz provided relief to nr-axSpA patients living with debilitating symptoms such as chronic back pain and fatigue," said Atul Deodhar, M.D., professor of medicine, Oregon Health & Science University and clinical investigator for the COAST pivotal trial program. "The study results indicate that Taltz is safe and effective in patients suffering from this condition. Today's FDA approval provides patients with a much-needed treatment option targeting IL-17A to improve the signs and symptoms of nr-axSpA."

    Other major secondary endpoints of the study included Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity (BASDAI), the proportion of patients achieving low disease activity (ASDAS <2.1) and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) Physical Component Summary (PCS) Score.

    An estimated 137,000 patients have been treated with Taltz worldwide since launch, with approximately 80,000 of those in the U.S., giving rheumatologists confidence in making informed prescribing decisions for patients with PsO, PsA, AS and nr-axSpA.7

    Lilly will work with insurers, health systems and providers to ensure patients are able to access this treatment. We recognize that COVID-19 may be impacting the ability for people to afford their medications, and the Taltz TogetherTM program helps ensure patients pay the lowest amount possible and can have Taltz delivered straight to their homes. Patients, physicians, pharmacists or other healthcare professionals with questions about Taltz should contact The Lilly Answers Center at 1-800-LillyRx (1-800-545-5979) or visit If you'd like to learn more about insurance support, call at 1-844-TALTZ-NOW (1-844-825-8966) or visit


    Taltz is approved for the treatment of adult patients with active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis with objective signs of inflammation, active psoriatic arthritis, or active ankylosing spondylitis, and for the treatment of patients 6 years of age and older with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

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