Swiss pharmaceutics company Novartis said on Tuesday that its new biological drug in development shows potential in treating serious life-long auto-inflammatory diseases.

The drug is called ACZ885 and early results indicate that it could develop into a major therapeutic advance in the treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes or CAPS, a group of rare but serious life-long diseases including Muckle Wells syndrome.

ACZ885 reflects our commitment to developing innovative treatments that address unmet medical needs, in patients with serious but rare conditions. Novartis said.

The results of the study were shown today at the Fifth International Congress on Familial Mediterranean Fevers and Systemic Auto-inflammatory Diseases in Rome.

Patients affected by CAPS (a spectrum of rare inherited inflammatory conditions) have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, skin rash, painful joints and muscles, and severe headache, the Swiss group noted.

When the syndrome complicates it can cause hearing loss and amyloidosis, a group of diseases in which some organs accumulate high deposits of proteins causing kidney failure and leading to dialysis or transplantation.

However, patients treated with the drug showed an improvement in symptoms within one day, and symptoms of the disease disappeared in all patients within seven days, Novartis stated.

Novartis is the fourth among the largest drug maker companies in the world by sales.