New Drug Approvals

Home » New drugs EU » Novartis’ Ilaris canakizumab has become the first biologic drug to be approved in the EU to treat the symptoms of gouty arthritis

Novartis’ Ilaris canakizumab has become the first biologic drug to be approved in the EU to treat the symptoms of gouty arthritis



Read all about Organic Spectroscopy on ORGANIC SPECTROSCOPY INTERNATIONAL 


Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 3,000,639 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,534 other followers

add to any


Monoclonal antibody
Type Whole antibody
Source Human
Target IL-1β

Novartis’ Ilaris has become the first biologic drug to be approved in the EU to treat the symptoms of gouty arthritis in another gain for the interleukin-1 beta inhibitor.


First biologic drug approved for condition in Europe

The European Commission (EC) cleared llaris (canakizumab) for the treatment of adult patients who have suffered at least three gouty arthritis attacks in the previous 12 months, but who are unsuitable for treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and colchicine or repeated courses of corticosteroids.

Gouty arthritis – commonly known as gout – is an “excruciating condition”, according to Novartis division head David Epstein, who noted that Ilaris offers new hope to patients who do not currently have treatment options.

Data from two phase III trials of Ilaris in acute gouty arthritis attacks showed that patients treated with the drug experienced significantly greater pain relief compared to the injectable steroid triamcinolone acetonide, while most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity.

The most frequent side effects were infections, and particularly upper respiratory tract infections and nasopharyngitis.

Ilaris was launched in the US and EU in 2009 as a treatment for an auto-inflammatory condition called cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS). The rarity of that condition has meant sales have been relatively small, coming in at $72m last year, albeit a 56 per cent gain over 2011.

Gouty arthritis is a much bigger market for the drug and, along with a juvenile arthritis indication Novartis is pursuing, could push Ilaris towards blockbuster status with sales in excess of $1bn a year.

“Our vision is to realise the potential of Ilaris wherever IL-1 beta plays a key role and available treatment options don’t give patients the help they need,” said Epstein.

EU approval comes after the US FDA knocked back Ilaris for gouty arthritis, saying in 2011 that Novartis needed to provide more data on the drug’s risk-benefit profile, specifically its potential to leave patients vulnerable to infections.

Gout has been a tricky indication for drug developers to crack, with the FDA turning down another CAPS treatment – Regeneron’s IL-1 inhibitor Arcalyst (rilonacept) – in 2012 on the grounds of inadequate safety data and concern about a risk of malignancy.

One success came in 2010 when Savient secured approval for its Krystexxa (pegloticase) drug as a second-line treatment after oral xanthine oxidase inhibitors in patients with severe debilitating chronic tophaceous gout.

However, the drug has failed to make significant inroads because of a high price and tendency to stimulate neutralising antibodies that limit its therapeutic effect, according to Decision Resources.

There is still a great demand for safer and more effective therapies with the phase III pipeline featuring another potential blockbuster in the form of AstraZeneca/Ardea Biosciences URAT1 inhibitor lesinurad.

Canakinumab (INN, trade name Ilaris, previously ACZ885)[1] is a human monoclonal antibody targeted at interleukin-1 beta. It has no cross-reactivity with other members of the interleukin-1 family, including interleukin-1 alpha.[2]

Canakinumab was approved for the treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) by the US FDA on June 2009[3] and by the European Medicines Agency in October 2009.[4] CAPS is a spectrum of autoinflammatory syndromes including familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome, Muckle–Wells syndrome, and neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease.

Canakinumab was being developed by Novartis for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but this trial has been discontinued.[5] Canakinumab is also in phase I clinical trials as a possible treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[6]


  1.  Dhimolea, Eugen (2010). “Canakinumab”. MAbs 2 (1): 3–13. doi:10.4161/mabs.2.1.10328. PMC 2828573. PMID 20065636.
  2.  Lachmann, HJ; Kone-Paut I, Kuemmerle-Deschner JB et al. (4 June 2009). “Use of canakinumab in the cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome”. New Engl J Med 360 (23): 2416–25. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0810787. PMID 19494217.
  3.  “New biological therapy Ilaris approved in US to treat children and adults with CAPS, a serious life-long auto-inflammatory disease” (Press release). Novartis. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  4. Wan, Yuet (29 October 2009). “Canakinumab (Ilaris) and rilonacept (Arcalyst) approved in EU for treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome”. National electronic Library for Medicines. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  5.  “, Identifier NCT00784628: Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of ACZ885 (Canakinumab) in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis”. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  6. Yasothan U, Kar S (2008). “Therapies for COPD”. Nat Rev Drug Discov 7 (4): 285. doi:10.1038/nrd2533.
Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutic Uses

Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutic Uses


  1. Reblogged this on medchemhot and commented:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Follow New Drug Approvals on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,534 other followers



DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 30 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, Dr T.V. Radhakrishnan and Dr B. K. Kulkarni, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 30 year tenure till date Dec 2017, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 50 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 19 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 216 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

Personal Links

View Full Profile →



Follow my blog with Bloglovin The title of your home page You could put your verification ID in a comment Or, in its own meta tag Or, as one of your keywords Your content is here. The verification ID will NOT be detected if you put it here.
%d bloggers like this: