A new eye drug from Xoma Ltd has shown positive results in treating uveitis of Behcet’s disease, a vision threatening eye ailment, during a pilot study. The new data was presented at the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Scientific Meeting recently.

XOMA 052, a therapeutic antibody has been designed to stop the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta). It is designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to treat this rare ailment.

Seven patients with Behcet’s disease were retreated with XOMA 052 and shown rapid decrease of the intraocular inflammation and impressive improvement in visual clarity or other ophthalmic problems with a single treatment. Then five patients were re-treated with XOMA 052 because of a worsening uveitis condition and they responded to the repeat treatment for several months.

Further, the inflammation level also reduced. The cytokine data showed reduced levels of IL-1 beta, IL-1 alpha and IL-6 and increased levels of interferon gamma. Increase in interferon gamma level is vital because of the protective effects of this cytokine against infection.

XOMA is leader in making therapeutic antibodies. XOMA 052, a highly potent and highly specific antibody IL-1 inhibitor.