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Data Published Today Reveal That Novel Oral Therapy Fostamatinib Demonstrates Positive Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Date:9/22/2010

onstrates Positive Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients  

LONDON and SAN FRANCISCO, September 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Phase II Study Published in the New England Journal of Medicine

AstraZeneca's (LSE: AZN) new oral syk inhibitor, fostamatinib (R788), recently in-licensed from Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL), significantly improved outcomes of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who responded inadequately to ongoing treatment with methotrexate (MTX), according to phase II study data published in The New England Journal of Medicine today.

In the six-month phase IIb study completed by Rigel, known as TASKi2, 67% of patients taking fostamatinib 100mg twice daily achieved the primary efficacy endpoint (ACR 20)* at six months, which was significantly higher than placebo. Thirty-six percent of patients achieved an ACR 20 response after just one week. Speed of onset may be an important factor in RA because permanent joint damage can occur when the disease is active. The most common adverse events included diarrhea and upper respiratory infection.

"In this study, we saw a significant clinical benefit in this rheumatoid arthritis population and a manageable safety profile," said Mark C. Genovese, Division of Rheumatology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. "Based on the data, further study of fostamatinib as an oral agent for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis is certainly warranted."

Patients in the study had active RA despite treatment with MTX alone, and were given either fostamatinib 100mg twice daily (bid), fostamatinib 150mg once daily (qd), or placebo. Significant clinical benefits were reported in both fostamatinib groups in the key efficacy endpoints of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) patient assessment criteria and Disease Activity Score (DAS) 28** remission criteria.

After six months: - The ACR 20 response was achieved by significantly mo
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SOURCE AstraZeneca
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