Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) siltuximab, an experimental monoclonal antibody, reduced growths and improved symptoms in patients with Castleman disease.
The drug works by targeting a molecule that may cause the increase in lymphatic cells in patients. Of those that were treated with siltuximab, one-third saw results. This is the first time that a randomized trail for any drug treating the disease has been conducted. Castleman disease has been treated with chemotherapy, which kills the cells that are dividing. The disease can result in damaged lymph nodes, which in turn can weaken immune systems, reports Bloomberg.
“In this study, the efficacy of siltuximab in multicentric Castleman disease patients, was clearly demonstrated by evidence of durable tumor and symptom response,” Raymond S. Wong, MD, of Prince of Wales Hospital at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Healio “These results are very exciting and highlight the potential for siltuximab to be a new and valuable treatment option for multicentric Castleman disease patients who unfortunately, until now, had no approved treatment options.”
Castleman disease is rare and it’s unknown how many people have it. It took J&J two years to find 79 patients from 24 countries to conduct the trail of siltuximab, Bloomberg notes.