The role of the immune system
Our immune system is vital in protecting us from illnesses, yet in many cases it can malfunction, underreacting or overreacting to a real or perceived threat. The field of Immunology has long been at the heart of what we do at Sobi, allowing us to gain extensive experience over many years.
Within Immunology we aim to enable treatments of serious, disabling and even life-threatening diseases. With our understanding of the mechanisms involved, we are studying how our existing products and investigational therapies can potentially help in new indications, and search for new late-stage treatment candidates that show promise in other areas of unmet medical need.
Building on our history of making innovative therapies available to the people who need them, we continue to work with healthcare professionals, patient organisations and other stakeholders to get our treatments to as many patients as possible.
Interleukin-1 and autoinflammatory diseases
The interleukin 1 (IL-1) family is a group of proinflammatory cytokines that play a central role in regulating the body's immune response. By binding to the IL-1 receptors on cells, they play a major role in acute and chronic inflammatory reactions.
In addition, the IL-1 system is also involved in several other biological functions, such as metabolic and haematopoietic activities. Members of the IL-1 family have emerged as therapeutic targets for an expanding number of autoinflammatory diseases where inhibition of IL-1 activity may form the basis for novel treatments.
CAPS (cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes), a group of rare and potentially fatal autoinflammatory conditions, are characterised by excessive production of the protein interleukin 1β (IL-1β). Common symptoms include rash, periodic fevers, headaches, malaise and joint pain. The most severe form of CAPS is known as NOMID (neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease) or CINCA (chronic infantile neurological, cutaneous and articular syndrome).
Before the development of medication for NOMID/CINCA, an estimated 20 per cent of children affected would die before reaching adulthood. Today, the prognosis for most patients who receive treatment is good.
IL-1 is an important factor in Still's disease, a rare, systemic autoinflammatory disease characterised by high fevers, joint pain and a rash. In rheumatoid arthritis patients, IL-1 is also elevated and correlates with various parameters of disease activity.