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New treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis passes clinical trials

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Pfizer: RA drug passes 2 of 3 tests

A new promising treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis passed clinical trials, Pfizer reported today. What is this treatment and what were the results?

New Rheumatoid arthritis treatment passes Pfizer clinical trials

A new treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis is one step closer to market after a successful medical trial, pharmaceutical company Pfizer said. The medication, Tasocitinib, improved the pain of 71 percent of participants in the six-month, double-blind trial.

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that typically affects hands and feet, although any joint lined with a certain membrane can be affected by the condition. RA affects over 1.3 million people in the United States and about one percent of the total world population.

Trial details

Tasocitinib was administered to a portion of 611 RA sufferers, according to Pfizer. The other portion was given a placebo. All study participants had moderate to severe FA and had inadequate response to at least one RA drug.

After six months, the oral medication improved the pain of RA sufferers and met two of the three goals for the trial.

"This is the first oral medication for rheumatoid arthritis that has had a successful Phase III study this century," the study's investigator Dr. Roy Fleischmann told Reuters.

Tasocitinib is part of the JAK inhibitor class of drugs meant to target the JAK proteins that cause joint degeneration.

"We are encouraged by the statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements we observed in a proportion of patients treated with Tasocitinib monotherapy in ORAL Solo," said Roy Fleischmann, MD, Clinical Professor in the Department of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"Further research into additional treatment options for patients with moderately to severely active RA is important, and we look forward to seeing the results of the additional Phase 3 ORAL trials of Tasocitinib."

More studies in the works

Tasocitinib is also being investigated by Pfizer as a treatment for psoriasis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, organ transplants and dry eye, according to the pharmaceutical company.

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