Servier is XOMA's development and commercialization partner for gevokizumab. XOMA holds rights to gevokizumab in the U.S. and Japan for non-cardiometabolic indications, including non-infectious uveitis, acne, and erosive osteoarthritis of the hand for which clinical studies are ongoing. Information on all gevokizumab clinical studies can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Gevokizumab has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of non-infectious intermediate, posterior, or pan-uveitis, or chronic non-infectious anterior uveitis.
About Behçet's Disease and Behçet's Uveitis
Behçet's (pronounced beh-CHETS) disease is an orphan disease that causes chronic inflammation of the blood vessels, or vasculitis. Major symptoms can affect the neurological, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems, and hallmarks of the disease include painful ulcers in the mouth and on the genitals. Behçet's disease most commonly affects men and women in their twenties, thirties and forties, and it is typically more severe in men. Behçet's disease is also referred to as the "Silk Road" disease because it is most common among people from countries along this ancient trade route, including Turkey, eastern Mediterranean countries, Japan and Korea. An estimated 5,000 to 15,000 patients in the United States have Behçet's disease.
Non-infectious uveitis, or inflammation of the intraocular tissues of the eye, of Behçet's disease is one of the most severe forms of uveitis and affects approximately half of the patients with Behçet's disease. Unlike many forms of chronic uveitis, Behçet's uveitis is characterized by recurrent acute attacks or exacerbations. Without immediate treatment, major exacerbations of Behçet's uveitis may lead to retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, glaucoma and eventual blindness. Symptoms include the accumulation of vitreous haze which can block eyesight or the loss of visual acuity and can manifest differently from patient to patient. For example, patients may go from 20/20 eyesight to loss of vision during the course of an exacerbation. Available treatments for Behçet's uveitis are limited to corticosteroids and off-label use of immunosuppressive drugs, which can have significant side effects especially when used on a chronic basis.