Novel Arthritis Rx Shows Promise

Baricitinib, from Eli Lilly, appeared to effectively treat refractory rheumatoid arthritis in phase III trial

(RxWiki News) It's not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but a new refractory rheumatoid arthritis drug has shown potential in a phase III trial.

That drug, baricitinib, appeared to improve daily physical function and reduce symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease marked by swelling, stiffness and pain in the joints.

For those who do not have a good response with current rheumatoid arthritis medications (refractory rheumatoid arthritis), or for those who have experienced side effects with the current available treatments, new treatments are needed.

That's where baricitinib could come in, this study found. This drug appeared in the latest trial to work differently than the more common rheumatoid arthritis drugs, meaning it could work when other treatments are ineffective.

This study, conducted by Stanford University Medical Center researchers, looked at 527 patients who did not have an adequate response to or who had unacceptable side effects with certain rheumatoid arthritis drugs. Compared to patients who received a placebo, those who received baricitinib showed improvement in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Eli Lilly, the maker of this drug, as well as Stanford's Department of Medicine and Incyte, funded this research. Eli Lilly has filed for FDA approval for baricitinib.

Review Date: 
April 2, 2016