The annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology was recently held, where data was presented on Cimzia and Bimekizumab. Not only were both of these therapies found to benefit ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients, but they also demonstrated abilities to treat non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) and psoriatic arthritis.
About Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a disorder that causes inflammation in the spine that may spread to other body parts. Symptoms include inflammation of the hips, eyes, knees, shoulders, and joints of the spine and ribs. This inflammation can make breathing and other movements difficult, and issues with the eyes can lead to vision loss. In a small number of cases, the nervous system, lungs, and heart are affected. In terms of a cause, medical professionals believe that a number of environmental and genetic reasons are behind AS. The exact cause is unknown, but there have been multiple genes linked to the disorder. Biologics and NSAIDs are used to treat AS, but a special diet and exercise routine have both been proven to reduce the symptoms.
Cimzia was found to alleviate eye inflammation in those with ankylosing spondylitis, reduce a number of symptoms in nr-axSpA, and provide clinical benefit for psoriatic arthritis patients. It does so by stopping the activity of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is a known driver of inflammation. Fortunately, it has already received approval for a number of inflammatory conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and nr-axSpA.
A recent trial discovered that Cimzia is able to treat acute anterior uveitis in AS, which is the most common symptom that is unrelated to the joints. This phase 4 trial evaluated patients for 96 weeks and found that this therapy results in significantly fewer instances of uveitis. By the end of the study, 85 patients saw reductions in flares. Of the 64% of participants who experienced one flare before the trial, only 12.4% saw a flare after. This same study also noted that Cimzia eased AS symptoms as a whole.
In terms of Cimzia and nr-axSpA, a phase 3 trial that included 317 participants resulted in symptom reduction over the course of a year. Using MRIs, researchers were also able to see that this therapy reduced inflammation.
Bimekizumab is an investigational antibody that is meant to stop the molecules IL-17A and IL-17F from signaling inflammation. A phase 2b trial showed that this therapy is able to do so, as it was found to ease the symptoms of AS. Not only is it a viable treatment, but no unexpected safety events appeared in the trial either.
Researchers are excited by the results regarding both bimekizumab and Cimzia, as they suggest that both medications have the potential to improve the quality of life for those living with inflammatory disorders. Hopefully further data is positive as well.
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