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XOMA Corporation (XOMA - Snapshot Report) recently announced that it intends to include active non-infectious anterior scleritis in the gevokizumab proof-of-concept program. Non-infectious anterior scleritis refers to the inflammation of the fibrous white membrane surrounding the eyeball excluding the cornea.

Gevokizumab is an IL-1 beta modulating antibody.  In November 2012, XOMA and its partner Les Laboratoires Servier initiated a proof-of-concept study to evaluate patients who have experienced acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the past three to twelve months.

In June last year, the company initiated patient enrollment in two clinical trials to evaluate gevokizumab for treating interleukin-1 beta-mediated inflammatory diseases.

The first study (phase III) is evaluating the candidate’s potential in reducing the symptoms like vitreous haze in patients suffering from non-infectious uveitis (NIU) involving the intermediate and/or posterior portion of the eye. The primary endpoint of the randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study is the proportion of patients showing reduction in vitreous haze score on day 56 following gevokizumab treatment.

The other study (phase II) is evaluating the potential of the candidate to improve symptoms of pain, physical function and other abnormalities in patients suffering from erosive osteoarthritis of the hand.

XOMA has collaboration agreements with other companies like Novartis AG (NVS - Analyst Report) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals (TKPYY).

Our Recommendation

Currently, we have a Neutral long-term recommendation on XOMA. The company carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.

Large-cap pharma companies that currently look better-positioned include Novo Nordisk (NVO - Analyst Report). Novo Nordisk carries a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).
 

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