New Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis: the Research Road

single jab beats arthritis screenshotIs there an RA miracle treatment right around the corner?

Thanks to my mom and a couple of other RA-news watchers who sent me this news Friday about a so-called “single jab to beat arthritis.” Why do papers love stupid headlines? No, it’s not about “arthritis;” it’s about RA, an ill-named inflammatory disease. It’s not a jab (shot); it’s an IV. And no it’s not a one-time cure, but the effects could last for months, like rituximab. Anyway, here’s the news.

Arthritis Research UK launches BiP trial in Rheumatoid patients

Arthritis Research UK researchers have launched an in-human trial of a single infusion of binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP). “The first-in-human trial will run for two years, and is being carried out by researchers from King’s College London and clinicians from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. It is funded by Arthritis Research UK and supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London.”

If you think BiP sounds familiar, you’re right. It has been in the news several times. Dr. Valerie Corrigall of King’s College London said this is the culmination of fifteen years of research. Researchers hope “an intravenous dose of BiP will quickly boost the patients’ anti-inflammatory response.” BiP is a natural anti-inflammatory protein found in insufficient amounts in Rheumatoid patients.

According to Arthritis Research UK, the team hopes that a single intravenous dose of BiP will reset a patient’s immune system, possibly putting him in remission for months. For more, visit the Arthritis Research UK site (instead of the sites with reckless headlines and dumb photos).

Eli Lilly ends Phase III Rheumatoid Arthritis trials

Thursday, Eli Lilly announced an end to its Phase III trials of the anti-BAFF (B-cell activating factor) monoclonal antibody tabalumab. Lilly maintained that the safety profile of tabalumab was not a problem, but that the trials failed to demonstrate effectiveness in RA. However, vice president of autoimmune product development, Eiry Roberts said the Phase III tabalumab trials for lupus, called “ILLUMINATE,” continue.

The fox hunt for bone-destroying cells

Finding the cure for Rheumatoid Disease is a long and winding road. Sometimes it seems like two steps forward, one step back, but remember that every failed trial still informs us. Inventor Thomas Midgley described this Thomas Edison-like approach: the trick is to turn a wild goose chase into a fox hunt (see Wikipedia).

Last month, researchers at the University of Michigan identified “how a specific group of genes works behind the scenes to activate the bone-destroying cells that cause severe rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating health issue for millions of Americans.” Lead investigator Joseph Holoshitz said this research could lead to a “significant breakthrough in our understanding” of how genes associate with RA risk.

A breakthrough could be right around the corner. Or there could be another bend in the road first.

Recommended reading

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

9 thoughts on “New Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis: the Research Road

  • February 11, 2013 at 7:54 am
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    That’s exciting news! I tried the link and couldn’t get it to work and in fact it shut down my internet but I did find the article – it seemed pretty accurately written, remmission for months, not a cure but pretty good. Funny how they used such old models when the article talks about people in their working years. Anyhoo, here’s a link to the same info, less flash. http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/press-releases/2013/february/first-in-human-trial-of-a-new-drug-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.aspx

    Reply
    • February 11, 2013 at 8:32 am
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      I just checked my html – that is the link in the post – can’t explain that. Yes, I’m sorry for the confusion – the press release from ARUK is of course well written (it’s their news) it was the one in the screenshot from Daily Mail that had the nutty headline.

      Reply
  • February 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm
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    Really wish media would use the right words. RA is not debilitating; it is potentially life-threatening. It’s not arthritis; it’s an autoimmune disease/disorder. It’s not remission; it is partial mitigation of the severity. Of course, there’s no money in honesty, is there?

    Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm
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    As an RA patient, I hope a breakthrough could be right around the corner. I would really like to see a cure.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm
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    It’s fascinating that this same drug could be used to treat osteoporosis. (Does it have an autoimmune connection?) It could potentially have a large market, which could mean lower prices, wider availability, more studies. Or am I just incurably optimistic today?

    Reply
  • February 25, 2013 at 11:47 am
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    It is great to hear that they are constantly working on new cures for RA. With the advances in modern medicines, the cures are only going to keep getting better!

    Ram
    Social Security Disability Help

    Reply
  • June 11, 2013 at 10:39 pm
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    With all the advancements in our technology, lets pray for a cure or at least meds that have less side affects! Taking the meds for RA are as bad as the disease. I just know Im not the same person I was before RA…..would like to be that person again.

    Reply
  • May 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm
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    Need some information on how to manage RA

    Reply

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