BRI signs license agreement with SOBI for Kineret (anakinra)

Baylor Research Institute (BRI), the research arm of the Baylor Scott & White Health, announced that it has signed an agreement with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) to non-exclusively license Baylor's patents pertaining to the treatment of Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA or SOJIA) using interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta antagonists.

Kineret® (anakinra) is a recombinant protein that blocks the biological activity of IL-1 beta by binding to the interleukin-1 type 1 receptor, expressed in a wide variety of tissues and organs. IL-1 beta is a key mediator of inflammation and driver of autoinflammatory diseases, including SJIA. On December 20, 2011, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia designated Kineret® as an orphan drug for the treatment of active SJIA in children.

"The agreement between BRI and SOBI enhances the reputation of the research scientists and the scientific platform at Baylor Research Institute," said Dr. Michael A.E. Ramsay, president of BRI. "The institute is a world-class center for human immunology research, and this is an excellent example of that."

SJIA is a pediatric orphan disease that represents a significant unmet medical need. About five to 15 children per 100,000 suffer from SJIA, a debilitating and potentially life-threatening condition that can result in long-term disability. There is a major need for safe, effective treatments because many patients do not respond to conventional treatments or experience serious side effects.

At Baylor Research Institute, Virginia Pascual, MD, and colleagues have shown that over-expression of IL-1 beta plays a critical role in SJIA, and the blocking IL-1 beta activity with anakinra is clinically beneficial in these patients.

"It is very rewarding to learn that our research has found an effective treatment for an otherwise devastating disease," Dr. Pascual said. "Now it can benefit children around the world."

Source:

Baylor Scott & White Health

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