According to a story from Hospital Healthcare Europe, The European Medicines Agency approved Kineret last year, an anti-inflammatory drug developed by Sobi. In the UK, Kineret is an approved treatment for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the label for Kineret has recently been expanded, and it is now approved for systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) and adult onset Still’s disease (AOSD).
All of these diseases are considered rare; CAPS, for example, affects just one or two in every million people, with only about 110 cases yearly in the UK. However, they all share certain characteristics that make Kineret a viable treatment for all of them. The drug is a slightly modified, recombinant interlukin 1 receptor antagonist protein. Kineret can be self administered via an injection under the skin. The medication has also found off-label use as a treatment for Schnitzler’s syndrome. Side effects of the drug include increased cholesterol levels, reactions at the injection site, and headaches. A small percentage of people may experience serious infections and/or a decrease in white blood cell or platelet count.
Treating Inflammatory Diseases
Autoimmune inflammatory illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis can produce an array of potentially debilitating symptoms, such as joint pain, muscle pain, rash, fever, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Kineret is used as a second line approach for rheumatoid arthritis after treatment with other medicines has failed to produce a response.
The label expansion for the drug can be linked to a recent study of 400 patients with Still’s disease. The trial demonstrated the Kineret could be an effective therapy for the disease, and could even induce remission in some patients. NHS England has recommended Kineret as a third line option for the illness.
Another Chance at Relief
Dr. Sinisa Savic, who is a consultant at the St. James University Hospital in Leeds, says that the approval is a major benefit for Still’s disease patients, who are in desperate need of another treatment option. In the past, patients who failed to respond to corticosteroid drugs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs were more or less out of luck.
Kineret’s ability to treat a variety of autoimmune inflammatory rare diseases makes it a real benefit for a variety of rare patients.