Roche presents arthritis report
Beirut, July 28, 2010
Hoffmann–La Roche, leader in research-focused healthcare, has presented the latest results about systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) at a rheumatism congress in Beirut.
The 2010 European League Against Rheumatism (Eular) congress took place at Riveria hotel in Beirut and was attended by the president of the Lebanese Society of Rheumatology along with rheumatology experts.
“This session will provide background material for health journalists to understand the basic science and the clinical achievements of sJIA disease,” said Leila Koleilat, communications manager at Hoffmann-La Roche.
“We will try to communicate the actual vision of living with the disease and the many challenges the patients and their families face with it by not only focusing on the physical aspect of it but the emotional ones as well,” she added.
sJIA is known to be a severe childhood arthritis, with no currently licensed treatments and an unknown incidence rate in Lebanon.
Recently, a study presented at the Eular congress demonstrated that tocilizumab (registered ACTEMRA) is highly effective in improving the signs and symptoms of sJIA and is also well tolerated in children with sJIA having a safety profile similar to adults with RA.
“There is a critical need for new therapies for children suffering from the debilitating and life-threatening effects of sJIA, and these data represent an exciting breakthrough”, said Professor Imad Uthman, president of the Lebanese Society of Rheumatology.
“Tocilizumab’s striking efficacy confirms a major advance in the treatment of this disease. We do hope that the five-year data will have the same significant and promising impact in the life of these young children,” Uthman added.
Data from the phase III TENDER study showed that, following three months’ treatment with tocilizumab, 85 per cent of patients achieved 30 per cent improvement in the signs and symptoms of sJIA and absence of fever, a primary characteristic of sJIA, compared to 24 per cent of patients receiving placebo.
Further data showed 70 per cent achieved JIA ACR70 and 37 per cent achieved ACR90. In addition to the significant improvement in JIA ACR response nearly two thirds were free of rash after three months. – TradeArabia News Service