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Will treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with an IL-6R inhibitor help facilitate the 'age of remission'?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John IsaacsORCiD


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Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory, systemic disease, which negatively influences patients' quality of life, work productivity and longevity. Current therapies include traditional and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Although these are effective for many, a substantial proportion of patients fail to respond to these agents, suffer from loss of efficacy and/or experience unpleasant side effects, highlighting the need for alternatives. Objectives/methods: To address how a greater proportion of RA patients may potentially achieve disease remission, we reviewed data on IL-6 as a therapeutic target. Results/conclusions: IL-6 is an important driver of RA pathogenesis, mediating both articular and systemic effects of the disease. Tocilizumab, an inhibitor of the IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), is beneficial in treating RA in a variety of clinical contexts. Evidence to date supports the use of tocilizumab, as monotherapy or combination therapy, as an effective approach to the treatment of RA. Here, we discuss key efficacy and safety data from the recently published Phase III trials.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moots RJ, Ostor AJK, Isaacs JD

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs

Year: 2009

Volume: 18

Issue: 11

Pages: 1687-1699

ISSN (print): 1354-3784

ISSN (electronic): 1744-7658



DOI: 10.1517/14728220903185939