Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Namilumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Did you hear about namilumab? I’ve looked at the abstracts of the ACR 2017 Annual Meeting and the EULAR 2017 Annual Meeting, but nothing had been discussed about namilumab at these two big meetings.

Namilumab is an investigational drug. Namilumab, also called MT203, is a human monoclonal antibody (class IgG1 kappa) and targets GM-CSF. Current phase 2 research covers not only rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but also psoriatic arthritis (PsA) [1,2].

T.W. Huizinga and colleagues published a study in 2017 [3]: “Phase 1b randomized, double-blind study of namilumab, an anti-granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor monoclonal antibody, in mild-to-moderate rheumatoid arthritis.”  Conclusions: “Subcutaneous namilumab was generally well tolerated. Although namilumab demonstrated preliminary evidence of efficacy, patient numbers were small; phase 2 studies are ongoing.” The study shows that the drug is still under investigation.

But I have my problems to believe in drug against RA targeting GM-CSF (Granulocyte Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor) [4]. Mavrilimumab showed up with one (!) study at the ACR 2017 Annual Meeting with a look at safety data (pulmonary function). MOR103 has been hibernating after 2015 [5,6].

Even if Professor Burmester keeps up being enthusiastic about a drug targeting GM-CSF, I don’t see that drug appearing on the horizon of the rheumatologic globe.



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