Gout update: New drugs for an old disease

Febuxostat is a non-purine-analogue inhibitor of xanthine oxidase that opened a new era in the treatment of gout.

Modified uricases

The use of modified uricases to rapidly reduce serum urate concentrations in patients with otherwise untreatable gout is progressing. Pegloticase, a pegylated uricase, is in development.

JAMA update, 08/2011: New Treatment Offers Hope for Patients With Severe Gout: pegloticase (Krystexxa) costs $2,500 per dose (http://goo.gl/gz9sO).

Drugs in development

Transport of uric acid in the renal proximal tubule and the inflammatory response to monosodium urate crystals (shown above) are targets for potential new treatments.

Several pipeline drugs for gout related to the targets above include:

- selective uricosuric drug RDEA594

- various interleukin-1 inhibitors. Canakinumab (trade name Ilaris) is a human monoclonal antibody targeted at interleukin-1 beta. It was rejected by the FDA panel in June 2011.

References:

Gout therapeutics: new drugs for an old disease. The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9760, Pages 165 - 177, 8 January 2011.
Diuretics, beta-blockers, ACEi, non-losartan ARBs associated with increased risk of gout vs. CCB lower risk. BMJ, 2012.
With FDA Approval, a Gout Drug Now Costs $5 Instead of Pennies - WSJ, 2011.
FDA Panel Rejects Gout Drug Canakinumab on Safety Concerns http://goo.gl/lO9uy
The strange story that links gout with the birth of the cocktail drinks. Lancet, 2012.
Image source: Spiked rods of uric acid (MSU) crystals from a synovial fluid sample photographed under a microscope with polarized light. Wikipedia, public domain.

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