Rheumatoid Arthritis :: First multinational study of Tocilizumab reports in

Nearly half (43.9%) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients receiving tocilizumab 8mg/kg, in addition to ongoing methotrexate therapy experienced a 50% (ACR50) improvement in symptoms at 24 weeks and more than one fifth achieved a 70% symptom improvement, according to results of a European study presented today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain.

This study is the first phase III trial of tocilizumab.

Lead researcher Dr Josef Smolen of the Medical University of Vienna for Internal Medicine commented, ?These data show the potential of tocilizumab as a novel and attractive approach to treating RA. The symptom improvements observed across both 4mg/kg and 8mg/kg doses show that tocilizumab offers significant promise to patients with moderate and severe RA.?

Significant improvement in symptoms was observed in all patients receiving tocilizumab and methotrexate compared to placebo and methotrexate. At 24 weeks, an ACR70 (70% symptom improvement) was observed in 22%, an ACR50 (50% symptom improvement) in 43.9% and an ACR20 (20% symptom improvement) in 58.5% of patients receiving 8mg/kg tocilizumab plus methotrexate compared to placebo (2.0% p=

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