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R&D News in brief

Our weekly round-up of the R&D news in brief

Humira combination induces remission
A combination of Abbott's Humira and methotrexate can induce disease remission in over 20 per cent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to results of a trial presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) annual congress in Amsterdam. The six-year open-label extension study of 947 patients also showed that two thirds of patients on long-term Humira therapy plus methotrexate achieved a sustained ACR20 response. The final results of the largest ever trial of any anti-TNF therapy in Europe, involving over 6,600 patients, the ReAct study, were also presented at EULAR. The trial found that Humira led to clinically significant and sustained improvements in all key efficacy parameters.

Confusion over pain treatments
Results of a European survey suggest that up to 64 per cent of people in pain are confused about which pain medications they should and should not take. The global patient and physician survey by the Arthritis Action Group (AAG) found that less than a third of physicians discussed potential problems or side effects and less than half were familiar with updated guidelines for pain medications. The AAG, a committee of 17 experts in musculoskeletal conditions, has called for action to improve communications with patients so they do not have to endure pain unnecessarily.

Search for haemophilia treatments continues
Baxter and German firm, Jerini AG, say they are making progress in their joint research project to develop a non-intravenous therapy for the treatment of haemophilia. The companies said extensive in vitro and in vivo analysis has identified several synthetic lead molecules with promising pharmacological properties. Scientists at the two firms used tailored screening and analysis methods to design molecules with the ability to promote blood coagulation. ìWe are encouraged by the identification of these molecules and the evaluation of the potential to treat haemophilia using a non-intravenous therapy with molecules that can be synthetically produced,î said Jerini AG's CEO, Jens Schneider-Mergener.

30th September 2008

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