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Novartis announces cut to multiple drug research programmes in 2022 full-year report

Published on 02/02/23 at 10:53am

Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, has announced in its 2022 full-year report that it is cutting several of their programmes, including their Huntington’s disease trial.


The VIBRANT-HD phase 2b trial of Branaplam to treat Huntington’s was paused last year to “[gather] more data” after questions about possible side effects arose. It was then announced in the full-year report that it had been axed after a benefit-risk assessment found indications of neurotoxicity in the majority of participants. This included side effects such as peripheral neuropathy and nerve pain.


Another trial, phase 3 pSpA for the study of the efficacy of Cosentyx in active peripheral spondyloarthritis, was “terminated due to strategic decision of senior management”. Cosentyx is already approved for five inflammatory conditions: plaque psoriasis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis; and enthesitis-related arthritis.


Other pipeline updates included “health authorities being informed” that Crizanlizumab “does not show superiority compared to placebo” for paediatric sickle cell disease; a membranous nephropathy programme being dropped due to a “non- compelling competitive profile”; plans to introduce two more indications for breast cancer drug Piqray due to reprioritisation; and the delay of IgA nephropathy and C3 glomerulopathy programme submissions due to slow recruitment, however both submissions have now been confirmed for 2023.

James Spargo



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