NovartisNovartis has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted three Breakthrough Therapy Designations for Ilaris (canakinumab) to treat three rare types of Periodic Fever Syndromes, also known as Hereditary Periodic Fevers. This means Novartis will work closely with the FDA to expedite the regulatory review of Ilaris for these conditions.

Periodic Fever Syndromes are a group of autoinflammatory diseases that cause disabling and recurrent fevers, which may be accompanied by joint pain and swelling, muscle pain and skin rashes, with complications that can be life-threatening. Most patients present with symptoms in infancy or childhood. The three conditions for which Ilaris is being reviewed are Tumour Necrosis Factor-Receptor Associated Periodic Syndrome (TRAPS) and Hyperimmunoglobulin D Syndrome (HIDS)/Mevalonate Kinase Deficiency (MKD), and in Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) patients who are not adequately controlled with colchicine.

“This is an important day for patients, including many children, who are affected by these serious and debilitating syndromes that have no or limited treatment options,” said David Epstein, Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “Ilaris is a promising medicine under review for these conditions, marking our commitment to making a significant difference to the lives of people with rare diseases.”

The FDA considers a treatment a Breakthrough Therapy if it is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary evidence indicates it may be better than existing treatments. If approved, Ilaris will likely be the first medicine to gain approval from drug regulators for the treatment of TRAPS and HIDS/MKD, and it will be an alternative to the only FDA-approved treatment for FMF, colchicine.

The Breakthrough Therapy Designations were granted based on the pivotal Phase III trial (Canakinumab Pivotal Umbrella Study in Three Hereditary Periodic Fevers). Based on this study, Novartis submitted three supplemental Biologic License Applications in the US to register Ilaris for use in these indications.

Ilaris was approved by the FDA in 2009 to treat two subtypes of a rare autoinflammatory disease called Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS): Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS) and Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS), in patients aged four and older. In 2013, the FDA approved Ilaris for a rare, autoinflammatory form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis called Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) in patients aged two and older.