) recently announced that its partner, Les Laboratoires Servier,
a French pharmaceutical company, has initiated an independent
proof-of-concept (POC) clinical program on gevokizumab. The POC
program will be evaluating the safety and efficacy of gevokizumab
in several therapeutics areas.
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XOMA has collaborated with privately held Servier for the
development of gevokizumab, an interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta)
modulating antibody. XOMA and Servier are evaluating the use of
gevokizumab in a number of indications including non-infectious
uveitis (NIU) involving the intermediate and/or posterior portion
of the eye and Behçet's uveitis. The potential of the candidate
to improve symptoms of pain, physical function and other
abnormalities in patients suffering from erosive osteoarthritis
of the hand is also being evaluated.
The first study under the POC program on gevokizumab will be in
patients suffering from polymyositis/dermatomyositis.
We note that XOMA had initiated a similar POC program on
gevokizumab in Nov 2011 for indications like moderate-to-severe
inflammatory acne vulgaris, erosive inflammatory osteoarthritis
of the hand, and non-anterior scleritis.
In Jan 2013, XOMA reported preliminary top-line data from a phase
II POC study in the inflammatory acne indication. Preliminary
results from the study showed that the 0.6mg/kg dose of
gevokizumab demonstrated a significant reduction of 19 in mean
inflammatory lesion count compared to a reduction of 13 in
patients under the placebo group on day 42. The difference was
maintained throughout the study.
XOMA recently initiated a pilot study to evaluate the use
of gevokizumab in patients suffering from acute inflammatory
pyoderma gangrenosum (PG). XOMA intends to enrol up to 8 patients
suffering from acute inflammatory PG for the study. Their disease
is characterized by recently developed active ulcers apart from
Gevokizumab is the lead candidate at XOMA. The company has
progressed well so far with the candidate. We expect investor
focus to stay on gevokizumab going forward.
XOMA carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies that currently
look attractive include
). All the three carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).