7 Autoimmune Diseases Biotechs are Fighting to Treat

3. Uveitis

Uveitis is a term that refers to the inflammation that occurs within the uvea, the pigmented layer of the human eye, the optic nerve and the vitreous, which is basically the gel that allows the eyes to retain their shape. Doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory corticosteroid eye drops to treat Uveitis, and it is commonly associated with side-effects of eye pain and infections.

Much like the case with treating psoriasis, biotech experts are relying on new antibody therapies and medications to cure uveitis, and many of these treatments have proven to be effect. For instance, Humira (adalimumab), an antibody developed by AbbVie recently garnered EMA approval to cure uveitis amongst children. This drug was approved in the US back in 2016.

Uveitis and ulcerative colitis
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Novartis has proven successful in curing psoriasis, while secukinumab is beneficial for treating uveitis and psoriasis. Cell therapies have received a great deal of recognition over the years, and biotech experts are infusing this technology with various treatments designed to cure uveitis. A French company, TxCell, has garnered US and EU Orphan Drug Designation for its T-cell technology treatment to cure uveitis.

However, this technology has not yet been studied with clinical trials. Apitope is another drug that is also being studied for its T-cell immunotherapy to treat the symptoms of Grave’s disease in patients suffering from psoriasis and uveitis. Many other uveitis medications and therapies are being developed. Only last year, Galapagos and Gilead began conducting a Phase II trial test to examine the effectiveness of Filgotinib, their tiny molecule, in treating non-infectious symptoms of uveitis.

4. Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is one of the most rare and least understood amongst autoimmune disorders that occur due to the build-up of inflammatory cells in various tissues, mainly the lungs, which lead to the development of granulomas. These commonly induce severe chest aches and respiratory ailments, however, they also occur in various other issues, for instance the brain.

Experts conducted an observation study consisting of 46 patients, which revealed that Remicade, also known as infliximab, an antibody developed by Janssen, has proven beneficial in curing the symptoms of pulmonary Sarcoidosis. However, Centocor, an organization owned by Janssen, conducted a phase II trial for Sarcoidosis patients that failed to exhibit the effectiveness of other antibodies, including golimumab and ustekinumab.

Acute Sarcoidosis
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Phase II results of Humira, also known as adalimumab, an antibody developed by AbbVie, revealed promising results in treating Sarcoidosis as it succeeded in reducing the size of lesions within the patients.

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