A very effective anti-cancer drug is now okayed to treat the rheumatoid arthritis patients who have tried the drugs to treat arthritis but has not get any benefit from them.
The anti-cancer drug that is used to treat arthritis is Rituxan, which is used to treat the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The companies Genentech Inc. and Biogen Idec Inc. said that the drug Rituxan should be used by patients who have not received any benefit from the drugs that are used specifically for rheumatoid arthritis such as tumor necrosis factor or TNF blockers of which the brand names include Enbrel, Remicade and Humira.
In the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system just attacks the tissues of the joints and causes inflammation of the joints and destroys the cartilage, tendon and bones and hence causing disabilities.
Now the drug, Rituxan, which is also known as rituximab, is being studied to treat the other autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and the route of administration of this drug is intravenous.
This news has proved a very good news for the company producing the drug, rituximab, to come back in the market with boost in sales. It is yet to be tested to see whether this drug can be used for the other autoimmune diseases.
It was also found that the Rituxan could eventually reach about $1 billion in sales to treat these autoimmune diseases other than cancer. The analysts also said that the sales of Rituxan in US would climb up from about $1.8 billion last year to about $2 billion this year and then further grow up to about $2.3 billion next year, which is a marked boost up in the sales of this drug.