Rheumatoid arthritis drug clears hurdle | Science News

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Rheumatoid arthritis drug clears hurdle

Anti-inflammatory injections work in people who failed to improve on other meds

1:41pm, June 29, 2009

A new drug knocks down rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in patients who have failed to benefit from other medications, according to a study released online June 29 in The Lancet.

The new findings may clear the way for approval in Europe for the anti-inflammatory drug, called golimumab. The drug was approved for use in the United States in April.

Rheumatoid arthritis results from inflammation of the joints, causing swelling and tenderness. Golimumab, marketed under the brand name Simponi, inhibits an immune protein called TNF-alpha that contributes to this runaway inflammation. While three other TNF-alpha inhibitors are already in use for rheumatoid arthritis, many people stop taking these drugs because of side effects or a lack of effectiveness.

No previous trial had tested golimumab against a placebo in a randomized fashion in patients who had already failed to improve while taking one or more of the other TNF-alpha inhibitors. In the new st

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