A recent study finds new hope for arthritis sufferers called Sarilumab. This study found success of a new drug that reportedly eases the crippling symptoms of this painful disease. Patients who tried the new drug found that they experienced less inflammation to their joints and were indeed more mobile.
Sarilumab was developed by a French drug maker named Sanofi along with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Doctors, scientist and charities have praised this drug saying it is a breakthrough in the continued fight against rheumatoid arthritis. A spokesman for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society said, “If this drug widens the options for people who’ve been forced to live with this debilitating disease; allowing them a more productive and liberated life, it can only be positive.”
The disease known as rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of the joints; more often experienced in the hands and feet. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it is believed to be caused by problems with the immune system. The Arthritis Foundation reports that about 2 million people in the United States suffer from this disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term and chronic disease. The symptoms can come and go for some and with others they remain almost constant. Even though different parts of the body can be involved; joints are always affected. Rheumatoid arthritis can have seasons of remission; however, joints become inflamed when the disease is activated.
Inflammation is the body’s response to threats such as infection; but with patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation happens without known cause. The body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue mistakenly for some unidentified reason in these patients.
A study was initiated by scientist who performed a year-long study on 1,200 patients. These patients all suffered with active, moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis. The study participants were patients who had not been able to deal with the side effects associated with methotrexate; the current frontline treatment or have not found pain relieving help with the drug.
According to the Daily Express, these participants found the new drug Sarilumab; when added to the methotrexate treatment, improved their condition by at least 20 percent. Those who were given a 150mg dose of the new medicine experienced an improvement closer to 58 percent. Sarilumab also slowed the progression of the incurable disease drastically.
As with all drugs, Sarilumab does have its side effects which included increased low density lipoprotein cholesterol and transaminases as well as infections.
A spokesman for Arthritis Research in the UK said that Sarilumab is still being developed but the initial results seen from this study were quite promising in reducing the agonizing symptoms.
There are more than 700,000 people in the UK that suffer the anguishing effects of the disease; although there is no known cure, there are a variety of treatment options for the symptoms.
Dr. Neil Graham said IL-6 blockade is surfacing as an important therapeutic approach for rheumatoid arthritis. Graham belongs to the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals team which created the drug with Sanofi. He said rheumatoid arthritis patients produce too much IL-6 protein. This causes damage and inflammation to cartilage, bones and tissue as well as extreme tiredness. Sarilumab reduces these effects by blocking the action of IL-6.
Sarilumab is the first human antibody targeted against the IL-6 protein. Doctors are proud to welcome this drug as another weapon against the disease. The Sarilumab drug treatment involves a bi-monthly injection.
Tanya Momtahen said, “The irreversible joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis is largely a result of a reduction in physical function.” Patients who were participants of the Sarilumab study were able to move more freely and suffered less joint damage. Momtahen said these results are very encouraging.
New study finds new hope for arthritis sufferers called Sarilumab. This study found large success that reportedly eases the crippling symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients who tried the new drug found that they experienced less inflammation to their joints and were indeed more mobile. Sarilumab could be made available within 10 years.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)