New rheumatoid arthritis drug 'can benefit patients who fail other therapies'

6 April 2016

A new study has demonstrated the potential benefits a new rheumatoid arthritis drug can provide to patients who have failed other forms of therapy.

The new therapy, baricitinib, was recently evaluated in a phase III clinical trial involving 527 patients. They were randomised to receive two or four mg doses of the drug or a placebo over a study period lasting 24 weeks.

All of these individuals had moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and had failed at least one anti-TNF biologic therapy, with many having failed two or more.

Around 55 per cent of the patients assigned to the higher dose experienced a reduction of at least 20 percent in the number of affected joints after 12 weeks, thus meeting the primary endpoint of the study.

For patients on the lower dose, 49 per cent experienced a similar reduction, while only 27 percent of the patients on placebo saw this effect. Baricitinib was also shown to improve physical function and led to reductions in markers of inflammation.

Study leader Dr Mark Genovese, professor of immunology and rheumatology at Stanford University, said: "This is the first drug to demonstrate meaningful clinical benefit in patients who've failed virtually every other commercial drug for rheumatoid arthritis."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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