GSK: Rheumatoid arthritis treatment meets trial goals

7/31/2009

LONDON A late-stage clinical trial of a biotech drug for rheumatoid arthritis has met its goals, the drug’s developers announced Wednesday.

British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and Danish drug maker Genmab announced that patients in a phase 3 trial taking ofatumumab experienced a 20% improvement in the number of swollen and tender joints, as the companies expected.

In the 260-patient study, the 129 patients taking ofatumumab had a 50% response rate, compared to 27% of those taking placebo. The companies also said there were no unexpected safety problems, but 5% of patients experienced rash, hives, throat irritation and other side effects.

“We have always believed in ofatumumab’s potential to make a difference in patients’ lives,” Genmab CEO Lisa Drakeman said in a statement. “We are pleased with the results of this study, supporting the further investigation of this antibody’s promise in the treatment of RA.”

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