June 16, 2008
Drug Hope on Arthritis
A "SMART" drug could save thousands of rheumatoid arthritis patients from years of worsening pain and disability, research has shown.
Tocilizumab is being hailed as a major breakthrough in combating the crippling auto-immune disease, which attacks the joints.
Trial results show the new drug is nearly three times more effective at halting progression of the disease than the standard therapy.
There is also evidence it can help difficult-to-manage patients with more advanced disease whose treatment options are running out.
Tocilizumab is not yet licensed for use in Europe or the UK, but is expected to be launched in Britain within six months.
The drug is a laboratory-made antibody that targets a signalling pathway linked to inflammation and arthritis.
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