Incyte Corporation and Eli Lilly and Company have announced today that RA-BEGIN, a drug for rheumatoid arthritis, has successfully passed all their trials and comes with great health benefits.
The drug is based on baricitinib, an experimental medicine that was found to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Phase 3 of the study showed that the drug is efficient and that it also passed the safety evaluation.
The primary objective of the research was to demonstrate that baricitinib therapy is equally efficient as methotrexate medicine. After 6 months of treatment, the ACR20 response showed researchers that baricitinib is not only as good as methotrexate, but also superior in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
David Ricks, vice president at Lilly, said that methotrexate does not achieve adequate disease control, and that baricitinib will change that soon. Thanks to the new drug, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers will be able to have control over their disease, therefore become able to put more effort into their careers and be more active in their family life. Ricks said that is essential for their drug to get the FDA nod in order to distribute it to the American public.
The study involved patients who had little to no knowledge of methotrexate and were never under treatment before. When phase 3 ended, researchers analyzed the results and noticed that baricitinib is far superior to methotrexate treatment, especially in patients with early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rich Levy of Incyte, said that they are hopeful the drug will be approved as soon as possible, because it has the potential to carry out treatments across different rheumatoid arthritis lines of therapy.
The drug passed the safety test successfully. Apparently, the adverse events were very rare and too mild to be taken seriously. During the study, no cases of gastrointestinal infections or tuberculosis were reported. The heaviest side-effects were felt by the participants who had to combine both baricinib and methotrexate. They have to discontinue their treatment a couple of times in order to finish the study.
The RA-BEGIN study was a success, the vast majority of the participants actually decided to participate in more extensive studies that will be involving this drug.
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the inflammation and progressively weakening joints in one’s physique. The disease affects three time as many women as men. Currently, about 23 million people suffer from the autoimmune disease.
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