Barcelona, Spain. New data presented at the EULAR meeting (European League Against Rheumatism) demonstrate that MabThera's (rituximab) effectiveness in relieving patients of the distressing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is sustained or further improved with subsequent courses of treatment, as is the number of patients achieving remission1. Importantly, the safety profile of MabThera remained unchanged in patients who had received as many as seven courses of treatment at 6-12 month intervals.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Keystone, Rheumatology Department at the University of Toronto, Canada, said: "As physicians gain experience with MabThera and the long-term efficacy and safety data are collected, we are able to make treatment decisions with confidence for the ultimate benefit of our patients."
Results following subsequent courses of therapy
A total of 1053 RA patients was treated with MabThera with almost 70% of patients followed up for more than two years and 11% for more than three years. The study was conducted in patients who had an inadequate response to treatment with either tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), both of which are commonly used classes of RA drugs. All study patients received multiple courses of MabThera (2 x1000mg infusion, 2 weeks apart) based on disease activity.
The data showed that after three courses of MabThera in patients who had an inadequate response to TNF inhibitors:
Equally, in patients with an inadequate response or intolerance to DMARDs, the remission rate increased almost threefold from 5% to 14% confirming the benefit of providing subsequen
Contact: Lynn Huynh
Cohn & Wolfe, London