BERKELEY, Calif., June 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XOMA Corporation (Nasdaq:XOMA), a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies, today announced that its development partner, SERVIER, has launched its own independent Proof-of-Concept (POC) clinical program to evaluate the safety and efficacy of gevokizumab, a potent modulator of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta). XOMA launched a similar POC clinical program in November 2011, which included studies in three separate indications: moderate to severe inflammatory acne vulgaris, erosive inflammatory osteoarthritis of the hand, and non-anterior scleritis. SERVIER has selected several indications across multiple therapeutic areas. "SERVIER believes gevokizumab has the potential to treat a wide range of indications beyond Behçet's uveitis, non-infectious uveitis, and cardiovascular diseases," stated John Varian, Chief Executive Officer of XOMA. "We are impressed with the breadth and depth of SERVIER's development plan. The first indication they are studying is polymyositis/dermatomyositis. Once SERVIER's POC program is fully underway, we anticipate gevokizumab will be undergoing safety and efficacy evaluations in over a dozen potential indications between SERVIER's and our efforts." "This POC in polymyositis/dermatomyositis is paving the way for gevokizumab in a new area of pathologies with clear unmet medical needs. The strong existing scientific rationale for the role of IL-1 beta modulation in this disease is making us particularly committed for moving forward this study," indicated Dr. E. Canet, MD, PhD, President R&D of SERVIER. For Dr. Jean-Philippe Seta, Chief Executive Officer of SERVIER, "Our core mission is to offer patients suffering from debilitating inflammatory diseases new therapeutic solutions. Gevokizumab has the potential to be one such solution." XOMA provided no further details on SERVIER's POC program nor the timing of when the studies will launch. Details of the multiple clinical trials from both companies can be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov and www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu . About Gevokizumab Gevokizumab is a potent monoclonal antibody with unique allosteric modulating properties and the potential to treat patients with a wide variety of inflammatory and other diseases. Gevokizumab binds strongly to interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, and modulates the cellular signaling events that produce inflammation. IL-1 beta has been shown to be involved in diverse array of disease states, including non-infectious uveitis (including Behçet's uveitis), cardiovascular disease, and other auto-inflammatory diseases.