Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of medium-large blood vessels.
Monoclonal antibody targets granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor alpha (GM-CSFRα) and inhibits the signaling of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).
GM-CSF is a key growth factor and cytokine that can govern the development and function of dendritic cells, monocytes, macrophages, and granulocytes (eg, neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils).
We estimate that there are approximately 75,000 to 150,000 patients with GCA in the United States.
We believe that by blocking GM-CSF signaling, mavrilimumab may be able to reverse the course of GCA by upstream targeting of the cell types driving the inflammatory process, a mechanism that is different from currently available therapies.
The Phase 2 clinical trial is expected to enroll approximately 60 subjects with new-onset and refractory disease. Subjects will be randomized 3:2 to 150 mg of mavrilimumab or placebo injected subcutaneously once every 2 weeks and coadministered with a corticosteroid taper. Treatment duration is 26 weeks, and the primary efficacy endpoint is time to first flare. Topline data are expected in the second half of 2020.
Corticosteroids are the mainstay for the treatment of GCA, but approximately 50% to 70% of patients are corticosteroid refractory or corticosteroid dependent. Long-term administration of corticosteroids carries significant morbidity, especially in an elderly population such as in those with GCA. The FDA recently approved an inhibitor of IL-6 activity as an adjunct to a corticosteroid taper for the treatment of GCA; however, IL-6 production is downstream of GM-CSF and does not address all of the underlying causes of inflammation.