The European Commission (EC) has approved the use of Ilaris (canakinumab) in the treatment of active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in patients aged 2 years and older who have responded inadequately to previous therapy with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and systemic corticosteroids, Novartis announced in a press release. SJIA is a rare and disabling form of childhood arthritis with limited treatment options. The condition is characterized by spiking fever, rash, and arthritis that can affect children as young as 2 years old and can continue into adulthood, the press release explained. Ilaris can be given as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate.
Ilaris is a selective, fully human, monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta, which is an important part of the body's immune system defenses. Excessive production of IL-1 beta plays a prominent role in certain inflammatory diseases. Ilaris neutralizes IL-1 beta for a sustained period of time, therefore inhibiting inflammation. Ilaris is approved for the treatment of SJIA in the US, for the symptomatic treatment of refractory acute gouty arthritis in the EU, and for treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) in more than 60 countries.