In very recent news, the FDA’s Arthritis Advisory Committee convened to evaluate a new drug, and excitingly, voted in favor of it. The drug is question was tofacitinib citrate (Xeljanz) for the adult treatment of psoriatic arthritis. The vote was overwhelmingly positive, with 10 people to 1 voting in favor of the treatment.
The biopharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. recently proposed a (supplemental) New Drug Application (sNDA) for the treatment, so we should know for sure if tofacitnib citrate will be brought to the market for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis by December of this year.
Psoriatic arthritis is a specific type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the joints. This condition is a result of an overactive immune system. It is called psoriatic arthritis because the condition mainly affects those who already have psoriasis, which is an immune-system related skin disease.
Treatment and medication can help alleviate patients of symptoms and control inflammation. In addition, exercise is a great way to control symptoms like joint pain and fatigue, but the treatment of tofacitnib citrate is a Janus kinase inhibitor which works to treat psoriatic arthritis from the inside, out. At the moment, tofacitnib citrate is only approved in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis after patients have not responded to other treatments like methotrexate and other antirheumatic drugs.
The Chief Developmental Officer behind Pfizer’s Global Product Development, Michael Corbo, stated in a recent press release that the significant approval marks a significant positive step for the company. He is further pleased that the Committee saw and reiterated tofacitinib’s favorable risk/benefit profile.
Janus kinase inhibitors, for those of you that don’t know, is a type of medication that functions by stopping the activity of one or more of the enzymes in the Janus kinase family. These enzymes contribute to cytokine signaling, which plays a role in cell growth and immune response in psoriatic arthritis.