The cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) are a group of rare inherited inflammatory diseases associated with overproduction of IL-1β. Canakinumab, developed by Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland), is an intravenously or subcutaneously administered, fully human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the bioactivity of human IL-1β. Canakinumab has promising clinical safety and pharmacokinetic properties, and has demonstrated potential for the treatment of CAPS. Canakinumab was recently granted EU orphan drug status for systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and early clinical trials have established that administration of canakinumab every 2 weeks is both safe and effective. Subcutaneous canakinumab (approved formulation) offers some advantages over the existing IL-1β-blocking treatment, anakinra, which must be injected daily and is often not well tolerated by patients. The long-term safety of all targeted anti-IL-1 therapies in CAPS remains an unanswered question owing to the relatively short clinical experience with these agents; as canakinumab produces sustained IL-1 suppression, vigilance is necessary to diagnose the development of adverse events, especially any associated infections.