Most SJIA kids whose disease is not controlled by biologic drugs take glucorticoid steroids of some kind (prednisone is the most common). Steroids work well in controlling inflammation, but come at a tremendous cost: stunted growth, fragile bones, cataracts, and weakened muscle are some of the side-effects. But we put up with it because the alternative of uncontrolled SJIA is worse.
Eric Hoffman, a researcher in another childhood disease (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy), gave the keynote at our next-gen SJIA treatments conference in October. He is leading an effort at Reveragen to bring a steroid replacement called Vamorolone (generic name VBP15) to market. The goal of the drug is to replicate the good effects of steroids (primarily their anti-inflamatory effect) without the side effects.read more