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NICE Draft Guidance Set To Help People With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Final draft guidance published today (Thursday 21st January 2010) by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will enable another therapy to be considered for some people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. In the draft, certolizumab pegol is now recommended as a treatment option for some patients with the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease in which joints in the body become inflamed, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. It often affects the small joints of the hands and the feet, and usually both sides equally and symmetrically. Around 400, 000 people in the UK have RA and people of all ages can develop the disease.

Geisinger Researchers Awarded Funds For Personalized Healthcare Project

Researchers at Geisinger Medical Center recently received funding totaling more than $44, 000 from a Geisinger Health System (GHS) - NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC) collaborative project focusing on personalized healthcare. The grant, titled "Expanding Comparative Effectiveness Research in Orthopedics by Capturing Uniform Measures of Patient-Reported Functional Outcomes at Two Institutions", will permit Geisinger to administer electronic questionnaires to patients with osteoarthritis (OA) via new, touch-screen monitors in its orthopaedic clinics. Results from these questionnaires will allow physicians to track patient-reported outcomes, which are critical in developing evidence-based protocols in OA management.

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MorphoSys Enrolls First Patient In Phase 1b 2a Clinical Trial For MOR103 Program In Rheumatoid Arthritis

MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) announced that it has enrolled the first patient in its Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of its lead drug MOR103. The Company's lead development program, MOR103, is a fully human HuCAL antibody directed against GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor), being developed in the area of inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), where current treatment options are inadequate. "We are very pleased that our Phase 1b/2a study in patients with rheumatoid arthritis has now started according to plan, " commented Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer. "This is an important step for MorphoSys, since we will test an antibody from our growing proprietary pipeline for the first time in patients.

Dr. Mary K. Crow Named Physician-In-Chief And Chair Of Rheumatology At Hospital For Special Surgery

Hospital for Special Surgery announced that Mary K. Crow, M.D. has been appointed physician-in-chief and chair of the Division of Rheumatology. This appointment is effective as of April 1. Dr. Crow, who is an internationally recognized research scientist and a leader in the field of rheumatology and autoimmunity research and clinical practice, will bring her expertise to her new role at Special Surgery. Dr. Crow, who has been associate chief, Division of Rheumatology, and director of Rheumatology Research at Hospital for Special Surgery since 2001, succeeds Stephen Paget, M.D. Dr. Paget, who will become Physician-In-Chief Emeritus, will assume a new leadership role with responsibility for a wide range of educational and training endeavors as well as the further development of external support for the institution.

Super-strong Collagen Created By UW-Madison Scientists

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has created the strongest form of collagen known to science, a stable alternative to human collagen that could one day be used to treat arthritis and other conditions that result from collagen defects. "It's by far the most stable collagen ever made, " says Ron Raines, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of chemistry and biochemistry who led the study, published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, forming strong sheets and cables that support the structure of skin, internal organs, cartilage and bones, as well as all the connective tissue in between.

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What Are the Symptoms of Midfoot Arthritis?

Pain around the top and middle part of the foot is normally the first complaint when an individual develops midfoot arthritis. This pain may be described as sharp or burning and is typically worse when standing or walking. Patients often describe the worst pain as being first thing in the morning, or the first steps after sitting or lying for some time. Physical examination may reveal swelling and there may be general tenderness in the midfoot area. Over time, it is common for a bony prominence called a tarsal boss to develop, which can cause irritation with shoe wear and difficulty finding comfortable footwear. Without treatment, midfoot arthritis can lead to flattening of the foot arches and cause the midfoot to turn outwards.

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