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New Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus

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Binding Immunoglobulin Protein (BiP)
BiP is a natural anti-inflammatory protein found in insufficient amounts in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. Arthritis Research UK researchers recently launched an in-human trial of a single infusion of binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP). According to Dr. Valerie Corrigall of King’s College London, this is the culmination of fifteen years of research. Researchers hope “an intravenous dose of BiP will quickly boost the patients’ anti-inflammatory response.”

The team hopes that a single intravenous dose of BiP will reset a patient’s immune system, possibly putting him in remission for months.

Hunting for bone-destroying cells
Recently, researchers at the University of Michigan identified “how a specific group of genes works behind the scenes to activate the bone-destroying cells that cause severe rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating health issue for millions of Americans.” Lead investigator Joseph Holoshitz said this research could lead to a “significant breakthrough in our understanding” of how genes associate with RA risk.

Belimumab – for fighting Lupus
There has not been a new drug approved for lupus in several decades. However, positive results from a major trial of the investigational compound belimumab (Benlysta™), announced during the American College of Rheumatology meeting, coupled with equally positive results of a second trial announced a week later, represent important milestones in the development of new therapeutic options for people with lupus. Belimumab is now the first in a new class of drugs called BLyS-specific inhibitors.

Belimumab (Btibs) is a protein necessary for the maturation of B-lymphocytes, cells involved in the autoimmune response that underlies lupus. Two recently announced Phase III trials showed that the drug significantly reduced disease activity and increased time to flare compared with placebo. In the first trial reported, participants also experienced less fatigue and improved quality of life, with no difference in adverse effects between those who received a placebo and those who received belimumab with the exception of infusion site reactions.

Results from a Phase II belimumab trial were also reported, evaluating its efficacy and safety over four years in 449 people with lupus. Researchers found that the rate of adverse effects remained the same or declined over the four years, while the frequency of new flares decreased significantly. After four years, for instance, flares defined under the SLE Flare Index declined from 72% at six months to 16% after four years.

“Such results,” said presenter Michelle Petri, MD, professor of rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore and a former ALR grantee, “show that belimumab could be “widely used” as background therapy to reduce the use of steroids, improve quality of life and prevent flares.

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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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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.

More

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