The role of the potent proinflammatory cytokine IL-1 in disease could clinically be investigated with the development of the IL-1 blocking agent anakinra (Kineret®), a recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist. It was first tested in patients with sepsis without much benefit but was later FDA approved for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. More recently IL-1 blocking therapies are used successfully to treat a new group of immune-mediated inflammatory conditions, autoinflammatory diseases. These conditions include rare hereditary fever syndromes and pediatric and adult conditions of Still's disease. Recently the FDA approved two additional longer acting IL-1 blocking agents, for the treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), an IL-1 dependent autoinflammatory syndrome. The study of autoinflammatory diseases revealed mechanisms of IL-1 mediated organ damage and provided concepts to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of more common diseases such as gout and Type 2 diabetes which show initial promising results with IL-1 blocking therapy.