Novartis drug Ilaris can reduce arthritis outbreaks

Reuters reported that the Swiss drug maker Novartis released new positive data from two studies of Ilaris, which showed that patients suffering from the most severe form of childhood arthritis were less likely to experience a flare up in the disease.

Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) affects less than one child per 100,000. It causes inflammation affecting the whole body, which can involve skin rashes, fever, joint pain and swelling.

Novartis said that the results of a final-stage study showed 62% of patients with SJIA who received Ilaris became symptom-free against 32 percent of those taking a placebo. The results also showed that one third of patients could stop taking steroids within five months of using the drug.

Novartis also said it was on track to submit the drug for regulatory approval for SJIA in both Europe and the United States, based on data from this and other late-stage phase III trials presented last year.

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