* Follows approval in United States, Switzerland
* CAPS causes inflammation, tissue damage
(Adds analyst's comment, share price)
ZURICH, Oct 28 The European Union has approved
Novartis AG's NOVN.VX Ilaris to treat children and adults with
a rare but potentially fatal inflammatory disease, the Swiss
drugmaker said on Wednesday.
Novartis said in a statement the accelerated EU decision
follows approvals in the United States and Switzerland.
It said Ilaris is the only approved treatment in the EU for
patients who suffer from two forms of cryopyrin-associated
periodic syndrome (CAPS), whose symptoms can include
debilitating fatigue, rash, fever, headaches, joint pain and
Helvea analyst Karl-Heinz Koch said the global market for
CAPS was estimated at about $50 million, but noted Novartis
recently presented promising data for Ilaris in gout, which
could mean peak sales of $400 million.
Novartis shares were up 0.8 percent at 53.65 Swiss francs at
0906 GMT, when the DJ Stoxx European pharmaceuticals sector
index .SXDP was 0.3 percent firmer.
CAPS is caused by a single gene mutation that leads to
overproduction of interleukin-1 beta, which causes sustained
inflammation and tissue damage.
Long-term consequences may be serious and potentially fatal,
including deafness, bone and joint deformities, central nervous
system damage leading to visual loss, and possible kidney
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)