Novartis announced good results in two phase III clinical trials for its new gout drug called - canakinumab or ACZ885 and branded Ilaris. In the trials, Ilaris reduced patients pain and prevented subsequent gout attacks as compared to the steroidal standard of care.
Analysts say Ilaris has a decent shot at achieving blockbuster status if the drug can be extended into other anti-inflammatory applications based on its inhibition of IL-1 beta. Novartis is looking to establish additional indicatins with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Novartis management continues to tout its strategy of establishing the efficacy of a drug in a narrow niche to gain initial approval and then to extend to other indications where similar anti-disease mechanisms will be effective.
Said Professor Alexander So, University Hospital in Lausanne, "Scientists have only recently learned that the root cause of pain in gouty arthritis is interleukin-1 beta. Through specifically targeting interleukin-1 beta, these studies show ACZ885 can effectively treat painful attacks while extending the time to new attacks." See WSJ and Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 26th 2011.