Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, has opened clinical trials for CFZ533, a new biologic drug for the treatment of Sjogren’s Syndrome and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The trial is currently open in the UK, though many other sites will eventually be available, including Pennsylvania. A recent press release states:
The NIHR has launched the UK’s first commercial trial of a new treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome. Up to half a million people in the UK are affected by this autoimmune condition. The study, funded by Novartis, utilises the NIHR Translational Research Partnership to bring together the country’s expert investigators in joint and related inflammatory diseases.
The study will test a new antibody treatment, which has the potential to bring relief to sufferers with Sjogren’s syndrome, a condition where the body’s immune system attacks glands that secrete fluid, such as tears and saliva.
This is in addition to another clinical trial from Novartis for VAY736, a new biologic drug for Sjogren’s Syndrome that targets BAFF. Much like the UK trial, the VAY736 trial began recruiting in Germany this summer, but will eventually recruit in several locations, including Pennsylvania.
These trials are particularly exciting because Sjogren’s Syndrome trials have historically been for biologic drugs that were already approved for other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. SS is often an afterthought for drug manufacturers, but in this case, SS is a primary target for these new biologics.