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Drug to prevent Arthritis on trial in UK

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A new drug that has the potential to prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis is being tested in the UK.

Led by researchers from England’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the study of the drug Abatacept will be the world’s largest ever trial investigating whether targeted immunotherapy can prevent rheumatoid arthritis in individuals considered to be at high risk of developing the disease. The study has been made possible by the NIHR Translational Research Partnership bringing together 31 of the country’s leading hospitals and universities to take part in the trial.

Details of the trial

Currently, a blood test can predict those who are likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis up to a decade before it strikes. Abatacept, which is already licensed for treating patients with established rheumatoid arthritis, reduces the immune system’s attack on normal tissues by interfering with the immune cells (called T lymphocytes) that contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers will now be testing the drug in a large experimental trial over the next two years – involving over two hundred people who are at high-risk of developing the disease. The participants will be patients who have joint pains but no joint swelling as well as evidence of an autoimmune response in their blood.

The APIPPRA (Arthritis Prevention In the Pre-clinical Phase of RA with Abatacept) study was conceived and is being led by Professor Andrew Cope from the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre at King’s College London, part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre in London. And according to him, “This is a very exciting study and an important first step towards curing this chronic, disabling disease that affects over half a million adults in the UK.” Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is providing the drug and a £3 million grant to fund the study.

As Dr Natalie Carter, of Arthritis Research UK puts it, “It will be interesting to see whether further progress is made throughout this large-scale clinical trial in preventing the development of rheumatoid arthritis as opposed to treating the condition once it has been established. If successful, it could lead to a new, more preventative approach to treating this potentially crippling joint condition…”

#RheumatoidArthritis #JointPain #NewDrug #Arthritis #BoneandJoint

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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