Ankylosing spondylitis is an idiopathic disease, associated with HLA-B27, IL23R and ERAP1 genes. Usually, fewer people get affected with ankylosing spondylitis irrespective of activation of genes. Blood test, X-ray test, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and physical investigations are some of the ways to effectively diagnose the disease. The disease begins with the inflammation in joints in the vertebrae and pelvic bones and spine. The environmental factors are believed to be the most important risk factor for increasing the incidence of the disease. The primary symptoms include back pain and stiffness.
Considerable growth in therapeutic pipeline of ankylosing spondylitis is attributed to the increase in prevalence of the disease among teens as well as young adult patients. Researchers have not been able to identify the actual cause of the disease. Novel anti-inflammatory agents and pain killers are being developed that are primarily responsible for the growth of therapeutics pipeline for ankylosing spondylitis.
In June 2015, UniQuest Pty Ltd signed a collaborative agreement with Janssen Cilag Pty Limited for development and commercialization of small molecule modulators of a biological target identified by the University of Queensland, as an important factor for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, and potentially psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. In December 2016, Janssen Biotech, Inc. confirmed the submission of two Supplemental Biologics License Applications (sBLAs) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking approval of SIMPONI ARIA (golimumab) for the treatment of patients with psoriatic arthritis as well as ankylosing spondylitis. SIMPONI ARIA is fully humanised anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha therapy.
Companies have conducted clinical trials for evaluating the effectiveness and safety of the drugs. The drugs have shown promising results in treatment of the disease. For example, secukinumab from Novartis AG is in Clinical Phase III, filgotinib from Galapagos NV is in Phase II, IBI303 from Innovent Biologics (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. is in Clinical Phase III, BCD-085 from Biocad Inc. is in Clinical Phase II, certolizumab Pegol from UCB Pharma S.A. is in Clinical Phase III, ixekizumab from Eli Lilly and Company is in Clinical Phase III and brodalumab from Amgen plc is in Clinical Phase II. In April 2017, the drug filgotinib from Galapagos NV in collaboration with Gilead Science Inc., was verified by a proof-of-concept study for the treatment of cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Additionally, filgotinib is in Phase II clinical study, for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, Sjögren's syndrome, and psoriatic arthritis. In April 2017, Unichem Laboratories Ltd. received USFDA approval for a pain killer drug, piroxicam, for the inflammatory conditions in ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis such as, swelling, stiffness and joint pain.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of ankylosing spondylitis therapeutics include, AbbVie Inc., Sanofi SA, Centocor Inc., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Novartis AG, Amgen plc, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Galapagos NV, Celgene Corporation, Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co., Ltd, Innovent Biologics (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., Pfizer Inc., UCB Pharma SA, Eli Lilly and Company, Eisai Co., Ltd., Korea Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Inflexxion Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd.