Serono and ZymoGenetics launch phase II arthritis trial
20 December 2006 00:00 in Pharmaceutical Company Product News
Serono and ZymoGenetics have announced the start of a phase II clinical trial of atacicept therapy administered to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, with the compound being evaluated according to American College of Rheumatology criteria for clinical improvement in patients.
Atacicept is a compound containing the soluble TACI receptor. This receptor binds to the BLyS and April cytokines that are part of the tumour necrosis factor family promoting B-cell survival and autoantibody production. These processes are related to systemic lupus erythematosus and other select autoimmune diseases.
ZymoGenetics reported that the results of the phase II clinical trial would inform the company of the compounds efficacy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and enable it to make a properly informed decision regarding the targeting of atacicept at patients with the condition.
Franck Latrille, senior executive vice president of corporate global product development at Serono, said: "This phase II study is part of a broad phase II clinical trial programme in rheumatoid arthritis."
He added that the trial was also a sign of progress towards the development of novel treatments for patients with needs currently unmet by the pharmaceutical industry.
Earlier this week, Serono reported that the European Commission had approved the proposed acquisition of the company by Merck KGaA.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency