Basiliximab to be studied for noninfectious uveitis

April 1, 2008

South San Francisco, CA-Cerimon Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with Novartis Pharma AG to conduct a proof-of-concept study of basiliximab (Simulect) for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis.

South San Francisco, CA-Cerimon Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with Novartis Pharma AG to conduct a proof-of-concept study of basiliximab (Simulect) for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis.

The monoclonal antibody selectively blocks the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor, providing highly targeted inhibition of the T-lymphocyte activation involved in immune-related diseases, according to the company.

“There is a significant need for new effective therapies for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis,” said Paul Sekhri, president and chief executive officer of Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. “Part of Cerimon’s overall strategy is to expand [its] basiliximab development program into other autoimmune diseases where there is significant medical need.”

Daniel Levitt, MD, PhD, the company’s executive vice president of research and development, added, “Based on the mechanism of action of basiliximab, we believe this compound is well-suited to the treatment of noninfectious uveitis, a chronic eye inflammation that can lead to complications such as glaucoma, cataract, and vision loss. Basiliximab has the potential to [improve significantly] the quality of life for this group of uveitis patients and reduce adverse events often associated with current treatments that include corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive therapies.”