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New Actemra data shows significant benefit for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
Date:11/8/2007

The innovative new rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab) has been shown to significantly improve the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients who failed to achieve an adequate response to traditional disease modifying agents (DMARDs). Exciting new data from the TOWARD1 study, being presented as a late breaker, at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, November 6-11, reinforce the benefit of tackling RA through the inhibition of the IL-6 pathway.

In the TOWARD trial, 61% of patients in the Actemra plus DMARD group achieved a 20% reduction in RA symptoms (ACR202 response) compared with only 25% of patients in the control group. Around one in three patients achieved clinical remission in the Actemra group, as assessed using DAS28 <2.63 .These results are consistent with the results of another Actemra trial, the OPTION4 study, which were previously reported and which will be the subject of further presentations at ACR. The OPTION study showed that 59% of patients in the Actemra treatment arm experienced a 20% reduction in RA symptoms (ACR20 response) versus only 27% of patients in the control group.

"We are very encouraged by the findings of this new TOWARD data which suggest that Actemra plus DMARDs demonstrates significant improvement in RA symptoms compared with DMARDs alone," said Mark C. Genovese, M.D., lead study investigator of the TOWARD trial and associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. "These data further establish the efficacy of Actemra and confirm that inhibiting the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor is a novel method of reducing RA symptoms."

"These results show that remission rates achieved with Actemra compare favourably with current RA therapies indicating the medicine's potential to become a very effective new treatment option," said Dr. Urs Schleuniger, Head of Inflammatory Diseases, Roche. "Findings from the TOWA
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Contact: Nicole Moores
nicole_moores@uk.cohnwolfe.com
44-020-733-15337
Cohn & Wolfe, London
Source:Eurekalert

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