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New Study Demonstrated ACTEMRA(R) (tocilizumab) Inhibited Progression of Joint Damage in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Date:10/25/2008

- One-year study results showed improved physical function in patients treated with ACTEMRA -

NUTLEY, N.J., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- One-year data from a two-year Phase III study demonstrated that ACTEMRA(R) (tocilizumab) significantly inhibited the progression of structural joint damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Late-breaking results from the LITHE study will be featured as an oral presentation during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting (October 24-28) in San Francisco. Fourteen additional abstracts, which evaluate ACTEMRA, a novel interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor, in patients with moderately to severely active RA, will also be presented during the meeting.

"The LITHE study demonstrated that treatment with ACTEMRA inhibited structural joint damage, which is a major cause of disability and loss of physical function for RA patients," said Joel Kremer, M.D., investigator in the LITHE study and Director of Research at The Center for Rheumatology in Albany, New York. "It is critical to stop joint damage as quickly as possible to avoid joint deformity and to help patients maintain their quality of life."

In the study, the mean change in the combined Genant-modified Sharp score(1), which assesses progression of both joint erosion and joint space narrowing, was lower among ACTEMRA (8 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg) plus methotrexate-treated patients versus methotrexate plus placebo-treated patients (0.3, 0.3 versus 1.1, respectively; p<0.001). In addition, the study showed that 85 percent and 81 percent of patients treated with ACTEMRA (8 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg, respectively) experienced no progression of either joint erosion or joint space narrowing, as measured by the Genant-modified Sharp score, compared with 67 percent of patients treated with placebo plus methotrexate.

Importantly, data from the LITHE study also showed that patients treated with ACTEMRA (8 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg) plus methotrexate expe
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SOURCE Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.
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