Patients who took canakinumab (Ilaris) reduced their gout rate by more than half compared to placebo, according to a study of more than 10,000 patients presented on June 13 in Amsterdam at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology.

In a news release, Robert Landewé, the chairman of EULAR’s scientific program committee, called the results significant. “They add to the evidence base demonstrating a potential
preventative role for canakinumab in patients with gout,” he said. “They will also contribute to
our understanding of the interaction between gout, uric acid, and cardiovascular disease.”

A very common disease, gout develops when uric acid crystals deposit in the joints, causing inflammation, according to the release. It adds that canakinumab blocks an inflammatory pathway, which is mediated by interleukin-1β.

“Our results demonstrate a striking effect of canakinumab on reducing the risk of gout
attacks in atherosclerosis patients,” said Daniel Solomon, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Moreover, these data illustrate serum urate (uric acid) as a risk marker for both gout and cardiovascular events, though canakinumab has no effect on serum urate levels due to its mechanism of action.”