European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Conference: New data presented at the EULAR congress demonstrate that MabThera's (rituximab) benefits are sustained or further improved over the long term.i, ii Data showed that after three courses of the drug in patients who had failed on anti-TNF inhibitorsi, the number of patients achieving 70% improvement in disease signs and symptoms (ACR70 *) more than doubled (11% to 25%) and remission rates+ (DAS<26) also doubled (6% to 12%).
Importantly, the safety profile of MabThera remained consistent in 1053 patients, 13% of whom had received four courses of treatment.iii
Results following subsequent courses of therapy
A total of 1053 RA patients was treated with MabThera with almost 70% of patients followed up for more than two years and 11% for more than three years. The study was conducted in patients who had an inadequate response to treatment with either tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), both of which are commonly used classes of RA drugs. All study patients received multiple courses of MabThera (2 x1000mg infusion, 2 weeks apart) based on disease activity.
Long-term safety data
Further pooled safety data when used long-term revealed a consistent safety profile, with an unchanging rate of serious infections following subsequent courses.iii These results add to the wealth of data already in existence on the drugs safety profile with 2438 patient-years of follow-up now collected.