New Biologic Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- On December 23, 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved abatacept Orencia®), the first in a new class of biologic agents called co-stimulation modulators, for the treatment of moderate-to-severe RA. Abatacept blocks the activation of T-cells, which play a key role in the development of RA. In clinical trials, abatacept was found to reduce signs and symptoms, induce major clinical response, slow the progression of structural damage and improve physical function in adult patients with moderately to severely active RA.
- Rituximab is currently FDA-approved for CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and is under consideration by the FDA for use in RA. Rituximab selectively targets immune cells called B-cells, which are similarly involved in RA. In 2005, researchers presented new findings on the effects of rituximab plus methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have experienced an inadequate response to one or more anti-TNF therapies. In this study, also known as REFLEX, rituximab was shown to be well tolerated and highly effective (American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting, November 2005).
Praise The Lord!
As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.