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FDA approves new use for Genentech arthritis drug


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a drug made by Roche division Genentech.

The drug maker said Friday that the FDA had approved Actemra (tocilizumab) for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have not responded adequately to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. The drug was already approved for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

"People with moderately to severely active RA can suffer irreversible joint damage that may be prevented by earlier treatment with a biologic medicine such as Actemra," Genentech chief medical officer and head of global product development Hal Barron said. "We're pleased that these patients will now have Actemra as an additional option."


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