Rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib gains FDA approval.
On June 1, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Olumiant (baricitinib) to be used to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have had an inadequate response to one or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor therapies. This approval comes a year and a half after the drugmaker Eli Lilly first submitted the drug application for baricitinib, which the FDA initially declined to approve, citing safety and dosing concerns.
Baricitinib Is the 2nd JAK Inhibitor on the US Market
Baricitinib is an oral inhibitor of the Janus kinase (JAK) pathway, and it is the second JAK inhibitor available in the United States. Xeljanz (tofacitinib) was the first, which gained US approval in 2012. Several other JAK inhibitors are at various stages of development and are expected to enter the market in the next few years.
What the New Treatment Option Means for People Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
“This is great news for patients; it’s an additional choice. For doctors, it’s another tool in the toolbox,” says Seth Ginsberg, the cofounder and president of the Global Healthy Living Foundation and CreakyJoints, an online patient community and advocacy group for people with arthritis. “We’re pleased that the FDA approved baricitinib; for many patients, this represents new hope for treating their RA.”
RA is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints. The immune system mistakes the lining of the joints for “foreign” tissue and attacks and damages it, causing inflammation and pain.
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