Bimekizumab (CDP-4940; UCB-4940) is being developed by UCB Biopharm to treat chronic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriasis. It is also being evaluated as a potential treatment for ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

AS is a form of arthritis that affects the spine and causes inflammation of the spinal joints. In advanced cases, this inflammation leads to ankylosis, or new bone formation in the spine, that can cause the sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position.

How Bimekizumab works

Bimekizumab is a humanized monoclonal lgG1 antibody and IL-17A & IL-17F inhibitor. It works by neutralizing IL-17A and IL-17F, two cytokines that drive inflammatory processes and coordinate with other inflammatory mediators to promote chronic inflammation and tissue destruction. By neutralizing these two cytokines through potent and selective targeting, bimekizumab has anti-inflammatory effects that may help in treating AS.

Bimekizumab in clinical trials for AS

It is currently being investigated in two clinical trials for the treatment of patients with AS.

The first is a multicenter, Phase 2B, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (NCT02963506) evaluating the effect of different doses in about 300 people with active AS. The aim of this trial, which is expected to conclude in April 2019, is to assess whether bimekizumab helps in decreasing the frequency and severity of AS symptoms.

The safety and efficacy of bimekizumab in comparison to Cimizia (certolizumab pegol) will be tested in a Phase 2 study (NCT03215277) that will soon start enrolling about 60 adults with active AS. Participants will receive either an application bimekizumab plus placebo at pre-defined time, to two applications of  and Cimizia, a drug that is used to treat RA and psoriatic arthritis, at times yet to be announced. This study is expected to finish in March 2019.

Additional information

It is also being investigated in a number of clinical trials in RA, plaque psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. In a press release, UCB Biopharma announced that the treatment has shown early positive results in a study of adults with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.

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