Roche drug touted at rheumatology confab

Chalk up a win for MabThera/Rituxan. The Roche-slash-Genentech drug won kudos as the American College of Rheumatology meeting for its long-term efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis patients. According to a new study presented at the meeting, repeated doses of MabThera helped patients who had failed to respond to TNF inhibitors, the usual first-line therapy for the autoimmune disease.

Each course of treatment, the study showed, produced further improvements in patients' conditions. The number of patients achieving remission doubled over three courses of treatment. Almost twice as many patients achieved a 70 percent reduction in symptoms after their third course as those who saw that same reduction after the first course. The study also showed that MabThera inhibits the progression of joint damage as well.

- read the release from Roche