A new class of RA drugs is on it's way, inhibiting the IL-6 cytokine (interleukin 6). According to my rheumy Actemra will be out in January 2010. Phase III trials of Actemra were very promising with 83% showing no disease progression after two years.
Another IL-6 in the pipeline, Alder's ALD518 due out in 2012, should last longer in the bloodstream (taken 3-4 times a year) and be cheaper to make than Actemra. And ALD518 could be given intravenously or in a straightforward injection under the skin.
Jenny mentioned in another thread:
Originally Posted by jennybyc
Won't it be neat when someday they will discover you have RA and can then test you immediately for the "variety"....TNF activated, Interleukin 6 activated.....whatever. They can test you for the cytokine that is causing the inflammation and start you on targeted therapy from the onset. I don't know about you, but I get tired of them throwing darts at you trying to find the "one" that will work. Someday....huh?
This has always puzzled me and I forget to ask my rheumy about it! Why can't they just test our blood or joint fluid and find out which cytokine is elevated?? I know there must be some good reason for why they can't . . . ?
I excited about the new IL-6 medications but after two decades of being on medication after medication that do nothing except give me side effects, some of which never go away, it really does get frustrating to watch my doc pull yet another contender out his . . . ah, hat.