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EU approves Novartis drug for gout

A logo is pictured on a building of Swiss drug maker Novartis before its annual general meeting in Pratteln near Basel February 22, 2013. RE
A logo is pictured on a building of Swiss drug maker Novartis before its annual general meeting in Pratteln near Basel February 22, 2013. RE

ZURICH (Reuters) - The European Commission has approved Novartis' drug Ilaris for patients with an often painful form of inflammatory arthritis, the drugmaker said on Friday.

Novartis said the EU had approved the drug also known as ACZ885 for patients with acute gouty arthritis who could not tolerate other treatment options.

Ilaris, which blocks a protein called interleukin-1 beta that is thought to increase inflammation, is already sold for treating cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, a rare inflammatory disorder.

In 2011, U.S. health regulators rejected Ilaris for use in gout over concerns about side effects.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley)

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