Experts at this year’s European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) annual congress highlighted to rheumatologists that targeted treatment in RA, through the testing of specific blood markers at the time of diagnosis, could have a significant impact on treatment decisions, resulting in an improvement in patient quality of life.
Rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), two characteristic autoantibodies produced by autoreactive B cells, are found in approximately 80% of RA patients. For these patients,
MabThera could potentially provide greater benefits. Data from a pooled cohort of two MabThera Phase III studies showed that patients who tested positive for either RF or anti-CCP (known as seropositive), were two to three times more likely to achieve a 70% improvement in their symptoms (ACR70)1 when treated with MabThera than those who did not have these autoantibodies (20.9% seropositive patients achieved ACR70 vs. 6.9% seronegative patients).
As a selective B cell targeted therapy, MabThera is the first and only targeted treatment option available for RA. Additional biomarker analyses from other MabThera Phase III studies are pending.
“Biomarkers can help us identify RA patients that will have a good response to treatment with MabThera. This has positive implications in terms of clinical practice. By treating patients with the best option for their disease, we can bring RA under control more rapidly and preserve function, reduce pain and maintain higher quality of life for patients”, said Professor John Isaacs, Newcastle University, UK