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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

New Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Looks Promising

June 29, 2009

A clinical trial of masitinib, a drug in the works for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, has shown to be well tolerated and effective.

Research shows that treatment with masitinib significantly reduces the severity of active arthritis.

In the study, researchers from several French hospitals carried out the trial in 43 patients with arthritis resistant to current treatments. Masitinib shows to inhibit the activity of mast cells, a component of the immune system thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.  The study was supported by laboratory evidence of reduce inflammation

“We are encouraged from this study that masitinib not only appears to be effective, but that within the first three months of treatment the worst of its side-effects were over, possibly making it suitable for long-term treatment regimens,” Olivier Hermine, researcher was quoted saying. “The results of this study also help establish the critical role of mast cells in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and demonstrate their viability as a therapeutic target. There is sufficient compelling evidence to warrant further placebo-controlled investigation.”

SOURCE: Arthritis Research and Therapy, June 2009