First Subject Dosed in Laquinimod Trial for Uveitis

On December 10, 2021, biotechnology company Active Biotech shared that the first subject was dosed within a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating laquinimod for non-infectious non-anterior uveitis. What is particularly interesting about this trial is that the company is testing a new eye-drop formulation of laquinimod. There are no current treatments available with the same sort of administration or formulation. Thus, the eye-drop version could provide patients with uveitis with a safe and more easily applied treatment.


So what exactly is laquinimod? According to Active Biotech, laquinimod is:

a first-in-class immunomodulator [that] has been shown in experimental models of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases [to target] the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) that is present in antigen presenting cells. By targeting the AhR, antigen presenting cells are re-programmed to become tolerogenic, meaning that instead of activating pro-inflammatory T cells, regulatory T cells with anti-inflammatory properties are activated leading to dampening of the inflammation in the eye.

Altogether, the treatment may be used alone in patients whose prior steroid treatments have not worked, or in conjunction with steroid treatments. Thus far, pre-clinical studies highlighted the treatment’s safety and tolerability.


Uveitis refers to uveal inflammation, or inflammation within the eye’s uvea (middle layer). Normally, the uvea, which consists of the iris, choroid, and ciliary body, protects the eyeball from damage. It also provides blood supply to the retina. However, vision is disrupted and damaged when inflammation occurs. Typically, uveitis occurs in those between ages 20-60, although it can affect others. Uveitis can be idiopathic (without a known cause); however, it may also result from eye damage or surgery, infections, toxin exposure, ocular cancer, or inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

Altogether, there are multiple forms of uveitis: anterior, intermediate, posterior, or pan-uveitis. The condition may affect one or both eyes. If experiencing any symptoms, please see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Symptoms associated with uveitis include:

  • Eye pain and redness
  • “Floaters” in the field of vision
  • Headache
  • Changes in iris color
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Vision loss

Learn more about uveitis.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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