A Drug for Still’s Disease Has Been Approved in Europe

A drug called Kineret has been approved by the European Commission in 28 European countries for the treatment of both adult-onset and juvenile-onset Still’s disease, reports Check Orphan.

Still’s disease is a form of arthritis that most commonly affects children, when it is called Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA), but it can also be found in adults, then known as Adult-Onset Still’s Disease (AOSD). Still’s disease causes inflammation of internal organs, pink rashes, and high spiking fevers in addition to arthritis. Since the blood test used to confirm rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t pick up on Still’s disease, it has to be diagnosed based purely on these clinical symptoms. The causes of the disease are poorly understood; with some researchers arguing that certain microbes cause it and others believing that it’s an autoimmune disease. It affects approximately 25,000 – 50,000 children in the U.S., and similar numbers in the European Union (EU).

Many children therefore stand to benefit from Kineret in the EU. It is already available for the treatment of several other diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and a range of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes. However, this is the first time it has been approved for use on children and adults with Still’s disease in the EU. Since the medicine is already in use, there is a large body of data from clinical trials, current patients, and meta-analyses to support its effectiveness and safety as a treatment.

Studies show that Kineret improves the symptoms of Still’s disease and helps most patients to move into remission. The drug has also been found to be relatively safe; the most frequently reported adverse reactions are headaches, raised blood cholesterol, and reactions around where the injection was given. This drug will therefore provide patients with a safe and effective alternative to existing steroid treatments. Sobi, the company behind the treatment, plans to bring it to market quickly. The U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland will be the first countries where the drug is made accessible.
The decision of the European Commission to make this drug available to those with Still’s disease is hoped to provide patients with more treatment options, and allow them to better manage the disease.

Anna Hewitt

Anna Hewitt

Anna is from England and recently finished her undergraduate degree. She has an interest in medicine and enjoys writing. In her spare time she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with cats.

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