New injection gives arthritics new hope
New drug may become available in 10 years
Arthritis is the painful, crippling condition that typically afflicts the elderly. In more severe circumstances, hands become knotted and unable to perform simple functions. Now, arthritis sufferers have been given new hope due to a new injection that seems to slow the process of the condition.
Although there is currently no cure for arthritis, numerous treatments are used to alleviate sufferers' pain.
Involving an injection once a fortnight, the treatment also slowed progression of the incurable disease.
A year-long study was conducted on 1,200 patients with active, moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis. These included those who have not benefited from, or been able to tolerate the side effects of current front-line treatment methotrexate. Sarilumba was found to improve their condition by up to 20 percent.
The new drug, developed by French drug maker Sanofi and Regeneron works by blocking an inflammation-causing protein called interleukin 6. Patients that were given a 200 milligram dose of Sarilumba every other week, in addition to methotrexate saw a 66 percent improvement in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis after six months. Patients given a 150 milligram dose saw an overall 58 percent improvement.
Reported side effects included infections, as well as increases in "bad" low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and transaminases.
Scientists, doctors and charities have hailed the drug as a breakthrough in the fight against rheumetoid arthritis.
"If this drug gives another option for those living with the disease to lead a fuller and more productive life then this can only be a positive development," a spokesman for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society said.
"The initial results from this trial look quite promising in terms of reducing painful symptoms - although Sarilumab is still under development and results of this study have not yet been published," a spokesman for Arthritis Research UK said:.
Although there is currently no cure for arthritis, numerous treatments are used to alleviate sufferers' pain. Common treatments include anti-inflammatory painkillers and anti-rheumatic drugs, such as methotrexate, which are used to slow joint damage.
There is the expected wait involved. Sarilumba could be available in 10 years if it is officially approved.
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