Arthritis :: New drug may treat rheumatoid arthritis – RA

For rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers who do not get adequate relief from so-called TNF-inhibitors such as etanercept or infliximab, a new drug called Orencia may provide significant clinical and functional benefits, according to a study published this week.

According to a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, at 6 months, more patients in the Orencia (50 percent) than in the placebo group (19 percent) had achieved “ACR 20 improvement” — that is a decrease of at least 20 percent in the number of both tender and swollen joints. Marked improvement was noted from day 15 of treatment onward.

Moreover, about 47 percent of Orencia-treated patients reported improvement in physical function compared with only about 23 percent of placebo-treated patients.

Orencia was also associated with significantly greater numbers of patients achieving ACR50 and ACR70 responses (greater than 50 percent and 70 percent improvement in the number of tender and swollen joints, respectively),higher rates of remission, and more improvement in quality of life measures.

The investigators conclude that Orencia is clinically useful and has an acceptable safety profile in patients with RA who fail to respond adequately to anti-TNF agents.

Leave a Comment