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Novartis' Ilaris launched in UK

Novartis has announced that its CAPS treatment, Ilaris (canakinumab), has been launched in the UK

Novartis has announced that its treatment for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS) in adults and children over four years old, Ilaris (canakinumab), has been launched in the UK.

The UK launch was preceded by an accelerated EU decision on Ilaris (canakinumab) and approvals in the US and Switzerland, where the therapy was granted priority review in October 2009 in view of the significant unmet medical need. 

Ilaris (canakinumab) is a fully human monoclonal antibody given by injection under the skin once every two months. It is the only therapy approved in the EU for young CAPS patients and for patients with neonatal-onset multi-system inflammatory disease (NOMID) –  the most debilitating form of CAPS. 

Dr Helen Lachmann of the UK National Amyloidosis Centre at the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London said: "By effectively switching off disease activity, canakinumab has the potential to transform CAPS patients' lives by offering long-term control of this rare disease."

"In the pivotal CAPS study, the majority of patients saw an improvement in symptoms within 24 hours of receiving a single dose of canakinumab. After two weeks the disease was barely detectable in the blood and the remission of symptoms was sustained for six months," she continued. 

It is believed CAPS occurs in around 2,500 people in the EU. However, the rarity of the disease means that many of these patients may be undiagnosed. CAPS includes three auto-inflammatory disorders of increasing severity: familial cold auto-inflammatory syndrome (FCAS), Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS), and neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID). Canakinumab is the only treatment available in the UK to treat all three disorders.

7th January 2010

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