U.S. approves Roche’s Actemra arthritis drug

WASHINGTON, Jan 08 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Roche Holding AG’s (ROG.VX) Actemra to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the company said on Friday.

The drug, made by Roche’s Genentech unit, is already approved for use in Europe and Japan and is expected by the company to become a blockbuster product.

The FDA approved the drug for treatment of adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who do not respond well enough to another class of biotech drugs designed to block an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Actemra is an anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody and works differently from TNF blockers such as Humira, sold by Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), and Remicade, sold by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N).

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Young Arthritis: Resources for Juvenile Arthritis & Young Adults Living with Arthritis & Related Disease

Is it wrinkled, gray, and crippled? Or – is it a child, a teenager, a ballet dancer, a professional athlete?

The truth is, it can be any of the above. Arthritis in its different forms can affect all ages and ethnicities.

I personally “don’t look sick” but at age 26 have multiple ongoing health problems, including Rheumatoid Arthritis that I’ve had since around the age of 10. Well-known NBA player Allan Iverson has recently been sidelined due to arthritis in his knee. We had an honoree for our Fall Walk, Deora, who was only 2 years old, and a Jingle Bell Run Honoree, Maddie, who was just 9 years of age. My grandmother has arthritis; but so does a friend of mine in her early 30’s. There is no set age when arthritis can strike, and the reality is, since there are so many different types, it can happen to just about anyone!

That being said, when it does happen to you — especially if you are a child or young adult — you may still feel like you ARE the only one. We’d like you to know that you are NOT alone!!

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Rheum to Grow – A Facebook Page for Teens & Young Adults



50-50-logoOne of the aspects of living with rheumatoid arthritis that has been most difficult for me to come to terms with has been the roller coaster fluctuations from good to bad. Sometimes these ups and downs take place over the course of weeks and days, and at other times they take place over the course of hours and minutes.

I’m getting a little more used to this, though…and instead of continuing to be annoyed by the unpredictable nature of my illness, I have actually grown to see this variety as something that definitely makes my days not boring. It’s definitely good to plan ahead, but it’s also sort of fun to live for the moment.

Over the past ten days or so, my rheumatoid arthritis has been 50:50. Who would have known it? Just yesterday in a SAT tutoring class the topic that we studied was ratios, as in “to find a ratio, put the number associated with the word of on top and the quantity associated with the word to on the bottom and reduce.” I can already see the test question now:

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s illness is very active from 11pm until 11am. From 11am until 11pm, it is almost unnoticeable that he has rheumatoid arthritis. What is the ratio of his active RA time to his non-active RA time?

Having experienced both extremes, from 1:100 (remission) to 100:1 (extreme flare), I am more than happy to be at 50:50…especially when those active hours take place during the nighttime/morning hours. Sure, the time that I roll out of bed has been drastically pushed back due to morning pain and stiffness…but at the same time, my RA activity during the night has not affected my sleep.

So all in all, I am a happy camper at the moment – even if I do have to meet my rheumatoid arthritis halfway!

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!


RA|QA Rheumatoid Arthritis Questions & Answers

QuestionAshley asks:

I’m finding that there is very little information available about a combination of drugs I will be starting soon. I posted an entry on my blog about it but I’m having little to no luck. The combination I’m mostly concerned about is Rituxan and Humira. Supposedly its still a somewhat rare combo. Not to mention the methotrexate and Prednisone. I was hoping there was someone else who is on these that could give me some insight.


Real Profiles Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have already submitted information for a profile and it has not been published yet, please know that you have not been overlooked! The tremendous number of responses that I received, combined with the recent holidays, is causing me to publish them much later than I might have previously estimated. Thanks to everyone who has already submitted a profile – I continue to publish these profiles in the order in which they were received!

If you have not yet submitted a profile but would like to, please do let me know!

RA Guy