CCX 168, a small molecule being developed by US-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company ChemoCentryx, is a potential treatment for a number of major unmet needs in vasculitis patients and has significant advantages over its competitors, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘Opportunity Analyzer: Vasculitis – Opportunity Analysis and Forecast to 2024‘, the report highlights the need for new drugs to reduce the treatment burden of existing therapy options in vasculitis and discusses the opportunities in this space.

A number of unmet needs will remain even after 2024, since drugs currently in the pipeline are being developed as induction therapies, while the progress in development of maintenance therapies continues to be slow.

Vasculitis is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, arteries, veins or capillaries. Developed for the treatment of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV), CCX168 won an Orphan Products Development grant from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2016.

"Being a relatively safer maintenance therapy, the small molecule has an opportunity as AAV patients need a prolonged maintenance therapy following remission."

Being a relatively safer maintenance therapy, the small molecule has an opportunity as AAV patients need a prolonged maintenance therapy following remission.

The orally-administered drug is found to cause lesser side-effects compared to maintenance therapies such as Rituxan or methotrexate, which must be used in conjunction with chronic glucocorticoids (GC) that can be harmful in the long-term, says GlobalData’s analyst Alexandra Annis, MS.

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CCX168 has been found to be safe and efficient in a recently concluded Phase II study in Europe. The study was conducted to assess whether CCX168 could be a replacement for high-dose chronic GCs.

Furthermore, attractive pricing will be an advantage to ChemoCentryx’s drug over its potential competitors such as Orencia (abatacept) from Britol-Myers Squibb and Benlysta (belimumab) from GlaxoSmithKline, which are expected to be launched a long time before CCX168, adds Annis.

The launch of CCX168 is not expected before 2024, but considering the high pricing of the competing drugs anticipated to be priced between $40,000 and $50,000 a year, CCX168 will have a low-price advantage, says Annis.

The GlobalData report also forecasts the sales of immunosuppressant drugs to be affected due to the launch of novel biologics and small molecules for vasculitis treatment.