Chapter

Biologic therapy

Peter Taylor

in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199556755
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607334 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199556755.003.0006

Series: Oxford Rheumatology Library

Biologic therapy

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• Biologic therapies for RA are protein-based drugs which target specific components of the immune system known to be of pathogenic relevance • Biologic therapeutics targeting tumor neurosis factor alpha (TNFα) have been successful in suppressing inflammation and markedly inhibiting the progression of structural damage; five anti-TNF agents are now available: adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, and infliximab • Biological TNFα inhibitors have greatest efficacy for improvement in symptoms and signs and prevention of structural damage when used in combination with methotrexate • Rituximab is a biologic agent that depletes B cells for use after failure of an anti-TNF biologic agent • Abatacept, which targets the co-stimulatory pathway of inflammation, is approved for use in many countries (but not in the UK) • Other biologic therapies directed against different immune targets have been licensed for use in RA or are in development but have not yet been approved by NICE • Several new, non-biologic agent approaches to immuno-modulatory therapy for RA are also in development.

Chapter.  2994 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Rheumatology

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