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IFX Anti-TNF Therapy Associated With Clinical Benefit Over 5 Years In Patients With Active AS

After five years of receiving infliximab (IFX) anti-TNF therapy, 61.8% of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) showed substantial clinical benefit (ASAS40, ASsessment in AS, 40-response) and 27.6% achieved ASAS partial remission. Moreover, at five years, 78.4% of AS patients had no arthritis and 84.9% had no enthesitis (inflammation at the junction between tendon and bone). Over this period, patients continued to show a sustained high response rate, low disease activity, good functional state and low creactive protein (CRP, a marker for inflammation) levels, according to the results of a new openlabel follow-up study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Secretary Of State Backs MS Society Work Retention Project

Secretary of State for work and pensions James Purnell MP is lending his support to an MS Society-led project designed to help people with chronic and fluctuating health conditions remain in work. Mr Purnell joins the MS Society and a range of charities, work organisations and leading UK employers and trade unions at a round table event at the Work Foundation in London today (2 June). Also attending is Dame Carol Black, author of 'Working for a healthier tomorrow' - the influential report that prompted the DWP to support the MS Society in setting up the project: 'Work retention for people with chronic and fluctuating health conditions'. Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society, said: "All too often, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other fluctuating health conditions say they left work too soon, either voluntarily or due to pressure from an employer.

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Subclinical Markers Predict Relapse In Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Post Methotrexate Withdrawal

Elevated levels of the inflammatory biomarkers Myeloid Related Protein (MRP*) 8/14 predict an increased risk of relapse following withdrawal of methotrexate (MTX) therapy in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) who have achieved inactive disease status, according to a new study presented at PReS 2009, a joint congress with the 2009 Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Effective treatment options are available to treat rheumatic diseases, many of which have the potential to induce remission, defined as absence of signs or symptoms of disease. While there is evidence-based advice regarding when to initiate therapy in rheumatic diseases, there is no specific guidance on the timing of treatment withdrawal once a state of remission on medication is achieved.

New Treatment Strategy Offers Hope To RA Patients Who Failed All Other Therapies

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who failed to respond to initial treatment with rituximab (RTX) (a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20) can still be successfully re-treated with a second course of RTX after six months, according to the results of a new study presented at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the study, 72% of RA patients who did not respond to initial treatment with RTX achieved improved disease activity scores (DAS28) and EULAR responses when re-treated with RTX after six months. In some cases the responses were dramatic, with patients achieving complete remission for a year or longer.

The Beneficial Effects Of Pregnancy And Childbearing On Arthritic Conditions May Be More Long-Term Than Previously Understood

Nulliparous women (those who have not given birth to children) are diagnosed with chronic arthritides (including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) an average of 5.2 years before parous women (those who have given birth to children), according to a new study presented at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. Previous studies have highlighted that pregnancy may be a protective factor against the development of RA, whereas this is the first study to assess the effect of pregnancy and having children on the development of chronic arthritic conditions in premenopausal women.

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Wyeth Presents New Analyses Of Data From Three Studies Of ENBREL R At The European League Against Rheumatism EULAR Annual Meeting

Analyses of data from three studies provide insight into the use of ENBREL ® (etanercept) in the treatment of three conditions for which ENBREL is indicated: moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). These analyses, presented this week during the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Meeting in Copenhagen, add to the body of evidence that supports treatment with ENBREL for patients with these conditions. Analyses from three separate trials of ENBREL -- COMET*, ASCEND** and PRESTA*** -- showed that: The group of patients with early-active moderate-to-severe RA treated with ENBREL and methotrexate, who achieved and sustained a halt of progressive joint damage, maintained this level at two years, according to the COMETstudy In patients with AS (including those with and without peripheral joint involvement), ENBREL therapy significantly improved signs, symptoms, function, and mobility when compared to treatment with the DMARD sulfasalazine, according to the ASCEND study At step-down and usual doses, ENBREL provided significant improvement in joint symptoms compared to baseline in patients with active PsA in addition to achieving clearer skin, according to the PRESTA study "Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis significantly impact the daily lives of the patients who live with these conditions.

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