New rheumatoid arthritis drug offers hope to thousands

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London, June 16 : Trials of a new medicine, called Tocilizumab, suggest that it is thrice as effective at halting the progression of rheumatoid arthritis as the standard therapy given to most patients.

The research also shows that the medicine can even benefit patients who are running out of treatment options.

Although Tocilizumab has not been licensed for use in Europe or the UK as yet, it is likely to be launched in Britain within six months.

It is a laboratory-made antibody, which works by targeting a biological signalling pathway linked to inflammation and the disease, reports the Scotsman.

Rheumatoid arthritis, the crippling auto-immune disease which attacks the joints, is the biggest cause of disability in the UK.

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