Baylor Research Institute Enters License Agreement for Anakinra in Treating Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Newswise — Baylor Research Institute (BRI), the research arm of the Baylor Scott & White Health, announced that it has signed an agreement with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) to non-exclusively license Baylor's patents pertaining to the treatment of Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA or SOJIA) using interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta antagonists.
Kineret® (anakinra) is a recombinant protein that blocks the biological activity of IL-1 beta by binding to the interleukin-1 type 1 receptor, expressed in a wide variety of tissues and organs. IL-1 beta is a key mediator of inflammation and driver of autoinflammatory diseases, including SJIA. On December 20, 2011, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia designated Kineret® as an orphan drug for the treatment of active SJIA in children.
"The agreement between BRI and SOBI enhances the reputation of the research scientists and the scientific platform at Baylor Research Institute," said Dr. Michael A.E. Ramsay, president of BRI. "The institute is a world-class center for human immunology research, and this is an excellent example of that."
SJIA is a pediatric orphan disease that represents a significant unmet medical need. About five to 15 children per 100,000 suffer from SJIA, a debilitating and potentially life-threatening condition that can result in long-term disability. There is a major need for safe, effective treatments because many patients do not respond to conventional treatments or experience serious side effects.
At Baylor Research Institute, Virginia Pascual, MD, and colleagues have shown that over-expression of IL-1 beta plays a critical role in SJIA, and the blocking IL-1 beta activity with anakinra is clinically beneficial in these patients.
"It is very rewarding to learn that our research has found an effective treatment for an otherwise devastating disease," Dr. Pascual said. "Now it can benefit children around the world."
Sobi is an international specialty health care company dedicated to rare diseases. The product portfolio is focused primarily on Inflammation and genetic diseases, with two late-stage biological development projects within Hemophilia.
About BRI:
Established in 1984 in Dallas, Texas, Baylor Research Institute (BRI) promotes and supports research to bring innovative treatments from the laboratory workbench to the patient bedside. To achieve this bench-to-bedside concept, BRI focuses on basic science, clinical trials, health care effectiveness and quality-of-care research. Today, BRI is conducting more than 1,000 active research protocols with 335 research investigators, spanning more than 43 medical specialties. BRI has research and development projects in areas ranging from human immunology and orphan metabolic diseases to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other unmet medical needs. Its Personalized Medicine arm offers a unique platform for identifying microarray-based fingerprint signatures. Baylor Scott &White Health offers its research affiliates unique access to one of the largest patient bases available for research in the US within a single institution. BRI has received full accreditation from AAHRPP.
About Baylor Scott & White Health
Baylor Scott & White Health is a not-for-profit health care system with total assets of $8.3 billion* and the vision and resources to offer its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The new system includes 43 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 34,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For More Information visit:

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