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Roche says repeated MabThera treatment helps rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
June 13, 2007
Roche Holdings AG said new data shows relief from rheumatoid arthritis
symptoms is 'sustained or further improved' by repeated use over
several years of its rheumatism drug MabThera.
The data also showed that MabThera remains safe to use after as many as
seven courses of treatment at 6-12 month intervals, the company said in
a statement published at an annual meeting of the European League
Against Rheumatism (EULAR).
Roche said 1,053 rheumatoid arthritis patients who previously did not
adequately respond to other drugs were treated with MabThera, and
almost 70 pct of the patients used the drug for more than two years.
A quarter of patients who did not respond to treatment with a drug
called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors showed a 70 pct
improvement in symptoms when treated with MabThera repeatedly, compared
with only 11 pct while treated with TNF inhibitors.
The number of patients achieving remission doubled to
12 pct, Roche said.
Patients previously treated with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug
(DMARD) showed a remission rate that rose to 14 pct from 5 pct.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation that leads to stiff, swollen and painful joints.
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