Prospect of a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
An international research group led by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has completed testing a new drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The drug is effective in patients with moderate to severe forms of the disease who have shown an inadequate response to conventional disease-modifying drugs. Results from this research have been published in The Lancet.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition affecting the joints and tendons, which is typically characterized by periods of increased disease activity. Prof. Dr. Gerd-Rüdiger Burmester, head of Charité’s Medical Department, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, conducted a study to assess the efficacy of upadacitinib in patients with an inadequate response to ‘conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs’. Upadacitinib is a selective inhibitor of the enzyme Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) and has been shown to be efficacious in this patient group in earlier phase II clinical trials. By inhibiting JAK1, upadacitinib disrupts an important signaling pathway that is responsible for triggering inflammatory responses.
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