A new biological medicine against small fiber neuropathy is currently being tested on sarcoidosis patients in the Netherlands

Summary from SarcoScoop, magazine of SBN, the sarcoidosis association of the Netherlands:

ARA 290, as the medicine is called, has been developed by dr. Tony Cerami, an American biochemist, and his company, Araim Pharmaceuticals. The clinical trials are conducted by the department of anesthesiology of Leiden university hospital.

Many sarcoidosis patients suffer from small fiber neuropathy, dr. Elske Hoitsma, a Dutch neurologist, found in her 2005 PhD thesis. Small fiber neuropathy is closely associated with autonomic dysfunction, a condition in which the autonomic nerve system malfunctions.

ARA 290 may not only reduce neuropathic pain but also relieve other symptoms (like fatigue, dizziness and palpitations) and regenerate damaged nerve tissue. Different from current biologicals like infliximab it can be administered by patients themselves via a daily injection.

In August 2012 I participated in one of the clinical trials myself (NERVARA). It could be another five years before ARA 290 becomes available on the market as a fully registered medicine.

Note added on July 21, 2013:

We intend to follow up on the March article in the December 2013 issue of SarcoScoop. Though the research into ARA 290 is promising, it looks as if there is no clinically accepted protocol for diagnosing small fiber neuropathy. Apparently the protocol used in an experimental scientific research setting does not yet qualify for medical practice. Why? What steps need to be set? These questions will be further pursued by SarcoScoop.

> Click here for the full article in Dutch in the March 2013 issue of SarcoScoop
> For an unofficial and unauthorized English translation click here
> More information and updates available on the website of Araim Pharmaceuticals
> E. Hoitsma, ‘Small fiber neuropathy: a novel finding in sarcoidosis’ (PhD thesis, 2005)