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Novartis AG Drug Helps Patients With Rare Inflammatory Diseases-Reuters

Sunday, 11 Nov 2012 11:32am EST 

Reuters reported that Novartis AG's Ilaris helps reduce patients' symptoms and the frequency of attacks in two rare inflammatory diseases, mid-stage studies showed, as the Swiss drugmaker looks to expand the use of the medicine. Results of two separate studies on November 11, 2012 in patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) and TRAPS - rare genetic diseases which can cause fever, rash and joint pain - both met their primary endpoints, Novartis AG said in a statement. Both studies are being presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) meeting in Washington D.C. Ilaris or ACZ885, which blocks a protein called interleukin-1 beta that is thought to increase inflammation, is already sold for treating cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, a rare inflammatory disorder. Novartis AG is also hoping to file the drug this year for regulatory approval in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA), a debilitating disease that can affect a child's growth. Results of the phase II study showed the drug helped 100% of FMF patients reduce the frequency of attacks by at least 50% during three months of treatment. Eight of the nine patients in the trial did not have an attack during the three months and blood markers of inflammation also normalised. Novartis AG is hoping to show the drug can be beneficial in treating rare inflammatory diseases after receiving a setback last year when U.S. health regulators rejected Ilaris for use in gout over concerns about side effects. 

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