Genentech announced on Friday January 8, 2010 that the U.S. FDA approved Actemra (tocilizumab) for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more TNF blockers. Actemra is the first interleukin-6 receptor-inhibiting monoclonal antibody approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Actemra may be used alone or in combination with methotrexate or other DMARDs.
Actemra was put through 5 multi-national phase III studies which involved more than 4,000 patients. The ultimate result - Actemra alone or in combination with methorexate or other DMARDs significantly reduced rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms compared to DMARDs alone. Actemra is administered once a month intravenously. The drug will be available the week of January 18, 2010.
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