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Biogen Idec's baminercept alfa shows promise in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Date:6/12/2008

b trials to study baminercept alfa in combination with methotrexate in patients with moderate to severe RA. 1.) the REACT study for patients with an inadequate response to treatment with DMARD therapy (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug), which completed enrollment earlier this year, and 2.) the RESPOND study for patients having an inadequate response to a TNF inhibitor (biologic therapies that target the TNF pathway). A decision to enter into Phase III development will be made sometime towards the end of 2008 pending analysis of the results of Phase IIb studies.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the LT- Pathway

In patients with RA, certain immune cells malfunction and attack the joints, causing painful and chronic inflammation as well as destruction of cartilage, tendons and bones. As in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign invaders. Though the exact cause of RA is unknown, new research is uncovering the immunologic and genetic factors that play important roles in triggering and perpetuating inflammation of the joints.

As shown in preclinical studies, baminercept alfa is thought to inhibit the function of LT- and LIGHT, two critical components of the LT- pathway implicated in the progression of RA and other autoimmune diseases. These molecules are novel members of the TNF superfamily, distinct from TNF- and lymphotoxin- targeted by some biologics indicated for RA. Autoimmune diseases are in part characterized by the inappropriate emergence of organized immune cell collections, or lymphoid structures, at sites of inflammation or in immune system tissues. Baminercept alfa is thought to act by inhibiting the formation and maintenance of lymphoid structures and the consequent activation of aberrant immune effector cells implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as RA. By blocking inappropriate signals from cell-surface LT- and LIGHT
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Contact: Rachi Govil
rachi.govil@offspringpr.com
212-798-9827
Offspring PR
Source:Eurekalert

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