US regulators recently approved AstraZeneca’ gout therapy Zurampic, offering patients a new approach to treating the condition.

Gout is a serious and debilitating form of inflammatory arthritis caused by excess serum uric acid levels. It affects millions of people around the globe, many of whom do not reach recommended serum uric acid treatment goals despite standard treatment with xanthine oxidase inhibitors (XOI), which decrease production of uric acid. 

For patients who remain inadequately controlled on XOIs, the addition of a urate-lowering therapy, such as Zurampic (lesinurad), to increase excretion of uric acid may help them to achieve treatment goals, according to AZ.

In the US, physicians can now prescribe the drug in combination with an XOI for the treatment of gout-associated hyperuricaemia in patients who have not achieved target serum uric acid levels with an XOI alone.

“A new approach to treating gout is long overdue given there has been limited therapy innovation over the last 50 years,” said Lawrence Edwards, chief executive of the Gout and Uric Acid Education Society (GUAES). “Combination therapy with Zurampic is an important addition to the medicines available to physicians that will help more gout patients reach their serum uric acid treatment targets, which may ultimately relieve their suffering from this painful disease.”

Zurampic is also currently under regulatory review in the European Union, where the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recently recommended its approval.