Novartis Egypt launches hidradenitis suppurativa awareness campaign

Novartis Pharma S.A.E. (Novartis Egypt), a global leader in immuno-dermatology and rheumatology, unveiled today during press conference, new initiatives within its awareness campaign “Capable of challenge… Able to confront immune diseases” . 

These initiatives have witnessed numerous partnerships between the government and private sectors, aiming to ensure early detection of immune diseases such as psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. With this campaign, Novartis Egypt aims to introduce and raise awareness about a lesser-known immune disease called hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), also known as acne inversa. 

The press conference also marked the launch of the latest therapeutic advancements for this disease and the review of various awareness activities targeting individuals, healthcare professionals, and entities within the Egyptian health system.

The conference was attended by esteemed experts in the field of dermatology and venereology, including Dr. Assem Farag, President of the Sharm Derma Association and Professor of Dermatology at Benha University, and Dr. Mahira Hamdy El-Sayed, Professor of Dermatology and Venereology at Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine and Member of the International Psoriasis Society and Dr Karim Youssef, Head of the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Novartis Egypt, alongside an esteemed gathering of distinguished doctors and renowned specialists in the field of dermatology and venereology.

Dr. Mahira El-Sayed, a Professor of Dermatology and Venereology at Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams and a member of the International Psoriasis Society, shed the light on hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), also known as acne inversa. She described it as systemic and often painful skin disease that affects approximately 1 in 100 people worldwide. “HS is a recurrent and debilitating inflammatory skin condition that manifests as deep, bloody lumps, abscesses, drainage passages, and indurated scars. The disease is characterized by recurrent painful nodules, draining sinus tracts, and abscesses Nodules are most likely to develop in areas such as the armpits, breasts, thighs, and buttocks. It primarily affects individuals from the age of twenty to thirty and significantly impacts their physical and psychological well-being, leading to intense suffering and despair”, said Dr.Mahira”. “Due to the associated pain, sensitive locations, pus drainage, odor, and scarring, HS can have a negative psychosocial impact on patients. The origin of hidradenitis suppurativa is influenced by genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors, with 33 to 40% of individuals with HS reporting a first-degree relative affected by the disease, added Dr.Mahira .

Regarding treatment options, Dr. Assem Farag, President of the Sharm Derma Association and Professor of Dermatology at Benha University, confirmed on the urgency of early detection & management of HS to avoid irreversible scars that can lead to complications, Adding to that he expressed optimism about the approval of Novartis treatement secukinumab by the European & Egyptian Medicines Authority for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). “This approval marks the new biological treatment option for HS patients in nearly a decade. The approval is based on robust phase III clinical trials data.

Secukinumab has been extensively studied for many years in adults with Ankylsoing Spondylitis – AS, (Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis – nr-axSpA), (Psoriatic Arthritis – PsA), moderate to severe psoriasis – PsO (in adults and children), as well as two types of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), (ERA: Enthethists Related Arthritis) & (JiPsA: Juvenile idiopathic psoriatic arthritis”stated Dr.Assem.

Dr Karim Youssef, Head of the Immunology Unit at Novartis Egypt highlighted, “We are delighted to provide a new hope for HS. Many patients worldwide have been treated with the Novartis treatment since its launch in 2017. The drug has recently received approval for JIA, JiPsA and HS in the US, Europe& Egypt, which puts a bigger responsibility on Novartis to make effective partnerships with all concerned sectors to fight against these disease aiming to early detection and improving the general quality of life.”

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