Expanding uveitis options

Arthritis drug receives European approval to treat non-infectious uveitis

19 Jul 2016 by Olivia Wannan

Medication Humira (adalimumab), one of the world’s top-selling treatments, will now complement the alternative drugs for uveitis already on the market.

The European Medicines Agency approved the drug, produced by pharmaceutical company AbbVie, this month.

The move followed two major clinical trials, which demonstrated that patients who took Humira had a significantly lower risk of uveitic flare and visual acuity decreases, compared to a placebo.

Uveitis is typically treated with corticosteroids, used in conjunction with immunosuppressant medication if needed.

Humira works by blocking a chemical, known as tumour necrosis factor, that is made by the immune system to cause inflammation.

The medication can now be used in the EU for adult patients with uveitis if corticosteroids are working insufficiently, or if the person experiences complications.

Fight for Sight research director, Dolores Conroy, highlighted that: “Uveitis is a devastating and under-recognised condition … For some [patients], current forms of treatment are not appropriate or do not offer relief. The development of new treatments for uveitis was identified as a top priority by the Sight Loss and Vision Priority-Setting Partnership, a consultation with patients and eye care professionals.”

Humira is also approved for patients with arthritis, as well as gut and skin disorders, and was the highest-selling prescription drug in the world in 2014.

To find out more, visit the AbbVie website.

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