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New RA Drugs Show Promise

Pipeline Is Packed With New Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

New Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs continued...

New research presented here shows that people with RA who received the drug did better than those who received a placebo or dummy pill. People with RA who were also taking methotrexate in combination with ofatamumab responded better than those taking the ofatamumab alone, says researcher Mikkel Ostergaard, MD, of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.

Tocilizumab. This drug blocks another inflammatory chemical known as interleukin-6 (IL-6). New research presented here showed that it significantly reduces inflammation in RA within about two weeks' time. When given at the highest dose used in the study, it normalized levels of C-reactive protein, which is an indicator of inflammation in the body.

There were some side effects, however, including infections and an increase in levels of blood cholesterol and liver enzymes, reports Josef Smolen, MD, a rheumatologist at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

But “there was a rapid and significant improvement in the signs and symptoms of RA,” he says.

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