Great news in the world of Rheumatoid Arthritis! A new oral medication for the treatment of the disease has just been approved. Below you'll find snippets from a press release, and you can read more about the new drug in this great article from Arthritis Today.
New rheumatoid arthritis drug targets NIH-discovered protein
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new oral medication for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis that represents a new class of drugs for the disease. The drug, tofacitinib (Xeljanz), provides a new treatment option for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to, or who are intolerant of, methotrexate, a standard therapy for the disease.
Tofacitinib is from a new class of drugs developed to target Janus kinases. [R&D done in the early 90's led to the idea] that drugs blocking Janus kinases would suppress the immune system and might be protective against the damaging inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and certain other autoimmune diseases.
The approval of tofacitinib represents the first time in a decade that the FDA has approved an oral disease modifying antirheumatic drug, or DMARD, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. This broad class of drugs slows or halts the progression of damage from the disease, rather than merely providing relief from symptoms. Unlike biologic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis — which are also DMARDs and target immune system proteins — tofacitinib is a pill, not an infusion or an injection. It is the first Janus kinase inhibitor to receive an FDA approval for rheumatoid arthritis.
Be sure to read the entire article from Arthritis Today here!