Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy Developments
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the major diseases affecting people of any age and severely reducing their quality of life. The pathology behind the disease is complex – an autoimmune condition that affects the joints causing swelling and stiffness. There is no cure for the 2.9 million people world-wide living with this debilitating condition, but significant advancements have been made with treatments to relieve the symptoms.
Humira (owned by Abbott) has long been the go-to drug for these patients, but a compound developed by Bristol-Meyers-Squibb may eclipse that. A recent study, AMPLE, spanning 2 years compared directly Humira and Orencia, the BMS product. With biologic naïve patients suffering from moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (and a background of methotrexate) used in the study, the results were interesting. Using the American College of Rheumatology ACR20 criteria, comparable efficacy was seen at one year. This meant the study met its primary endpoint. Interestingly, radiographic evidence of rheumatic arthritis disease progression was matched in the two groups taking Humira and Orencia respectively.
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is complicated by the long-term nature of the condition. As with any long-term condition, life-style and psychological factors influence perception of pain, but unlike others, rheumatoid arthritis has very distinct radiographic evidence of disease and its progression. This provides significant advantages when it comes to testing therapeutic compounds as the AMPLE study shows. It will be interesting to see the shift in therapeutic preferences in light of this study, and if prescribing habits change in favor of Orencia, which have been proven to be effective.
Keep up to date on any future trials with @Rheumatic_Bio and with the Rheumatology News page