Pfizer has announced that XELJANZ®▼ (tofacitinib citrate), a new 5mg twice daily oral tablet to reduce inflammation in adults with rheumatoid arthritis, has been granted marketing authorisation by the European Commission and is now licensed in the UK.
The medicine is intended for use in combination with methotrexate (MTX) in adults with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have responded inadequately to, or who are intolerant to one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. It can also be used as a monotherapy in case of intolerance to methotrexate or when treatment with methotrexate is inappropriate.
Tofacitinib citrate belongs to a new class of medications known as JAK inhibitors. JAK inhibitors directly target the Janus kinase signalling pathway, working inside the cell by binding to the binding site on the JAK enzyme. This prevents JAK from activating the STAT proteins, interrupting the signalling channel and halting the message that ultimately produces the inflammatory response seen in RA.
Ailsa Bosworth, Founder and Chief Executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, commented, ‘The prognosis for people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis has been completely transformed over the past two decades.
‘But not every patient responds to their treatment and people can still experience significant limitations to what they can do and achieve because of their condition so, in spite of fantastic progress in rheumatology, there remains a need for different treatments. We therefore welcome any innovative new advances that can offer additional options,’ she added.
Tofacitinib citrate was the first Janus kinase inhibitor to be licensed for rheumatoid arthritis in America and is currently licensed in over 50 countries. It has been prescribed to more than 55,000 patients worldwide.