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Tuesday 11 July 2006

Roche's Mabthera receives EU approval for rheumatoid arthritis, NHL

By: AFX News

The drug has been indicated as a combination treatment for adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis, who have had an inadequate response or are intolerant to current treatment options, the Swiss pharma group said.

MabThera is the first and only selective B cell therapy -- which play a key role in driving the RA disease process -- and is thought to break this process so preventing disease effects and leading to lasting benefits for the patient.

In parallel, Roche announced that the EU Commission has approved MabThera as maintenance therapy for patients with relapsed or refractory follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL), one of the fastest growing forms of cancers.

Roche said that MabThera maintenance therapy reduces the risk of death by almost half for patients with this form of NHL, compared to standard disease management.

NHL has grown in incidence by 80 pct since the early 1970s and is expected, if the increase continues at current rates, to have an incidence similar to that of breast, colon, lung and skin cancer by the year 2025, it said.

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