Bimekizumab for ankylosing spondylitis

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Interventions: Bimekizumab (UCB4940)
Indications: Ankylosing spondylitis
Therapeutic Areas: Musculoskeletal System
Year: 2021

Bimekizumab is in clinical development for the treatment of adults with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). AS is a long-term condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed. The inflammation can lead to back pain, fatigue and in serious cases, to severe disability as bones may fuse into a fixed position or joints become progressively damaged. It is not known exactly what causes AS, but in many cases, there seems to be a link with a particular gene known as HLA-B27. Some patients with AS do not respond well to current treatment options, resulting in a clear unmet medical need.
Bimekizumab is a drug administered by subcutaneous injection that neutralises the function of certain proteins that regulate immune responses, namely: interleukin (IL)-17A and IL-17F cytokines. High levels of these interleukins have been shown to be involved in developing inflammatory diseases caused by the immune system. Neutralizing both IL-17A and IL-17F prevents them from interacting with their receptors (targets), which reduces skin and joint inflammation as well as pathological bone formation. Current treatments for AS target IL-17A alone, whereas bimekizumab causes greater reduction of inflammation through targeting both the IL17A and IL17F and results from phase IIB trials suggest bimekizumab may provide a promising therapeutic option for patients with AS.