The expanding pipeline for juvenile idiopathic arthritis can be attributed to the increase in its prevalence. One of the major factor that stimulate the growth of pipeline and research is that the cause of juvenile idiopathic arthritis is not known. The juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs mostly in children before 16 years of age. Since the disease occurs only in children, so the safety and efficacy concerns of the drugs is given preference so that it can be treated without any side effects. Some of the other factors driving the pipeline growth include, raising awareness of health issues among children and less number of drugs available for therapy against juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Currently, one in 1,000 child in the U.S. suffers with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Females are more susceptible to juvenile idiopathic arthritis than males.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis can be symptomatized as swelling, joint pain, tenderness, stiffness and fever that last for approximately more than 6 weeks. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, mostly occurs when body’s immune system erroneously attacks its own healthy tissues and cells, which result in inflammation, pain, heat, redness and swelling. Researchers have studied that, either environmental factors or genetic tendency of child act as triggers for the occurrence of the disease. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects mostly joints in knees, hand and feet. Sometimes, severe complication can occur in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis such as eye inflammation. Currently, no medical test is approved for diagnosis of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Physicians diagnose juvenile idiopathic arthritis by examining the medical history of the patient and the result of other tests that help in ruling out other morbidities.
In November 2016, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was in the process of introducing a monoclonal antibody, sarilumab, which is an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody for the treatment of children and adolescent patient with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Sarilumab is under Phase II stage of clinical development. In August 2013, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG introduced a monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, which is under Phase I clinical development. Tocilizumab is an interleukin-6-receptor antagonist. In March 2013, Pfizer, Inc. is introducing a drug Tofacitinib which is under Phase III stage of clinical development. Tofacitinib is a janus kinase inhibitor that interrupt the signalling of multiple cytokines. In November 2014, Novartis AG is introducing a monoclonal antibody, canakinumab, which is under Phase III stage of clinical development. Canakinumab is a monoclonal anti-human interleukin (IL)-1β antibody which is of immunoglobulin G1/κ isotype and binds to the human IL-1β, thereby blocking its interaction with IL-1 receptors.
In 2011, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. collaborated with Shire Plc for the development and commercialization of M923, which is a proposed biosimilar of Humira (adalimumab) but the collaboration was later terminated. In June 2010, F Hoffman-la-Roche announced that RoACTEMRA (known as ACTEMRA outside Europe) is highly effective in improving the signs and symptoms of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which currently has no licensed treatments. RoACTEMRA is also well tolerated in children with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and has a safety profile similar to adults with rheumatoid arthritis.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of juvenile idiopathic arthritis therapeutics include, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Pfizer, Inc., Novartis AG,