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Prediction of Drug-Free Remission in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Five biomarkers that could predict flare following DMARD cessation.

Unmet need

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is estimated to affect approximately 4.9 million people across the major markets. RA is costly to healthcare services. It leads to substantial economic and quality of life impairments for patients. 50%+ of patients are unable to maintain full-time employment within 10 years of onset.

With Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), approximately a third of patients with RA can expect to achieve disease remission. But DMARDs carry potential risks of serious side effects including liver damage (cirrhosis), bone marrow suppression and infection. Use of DMARDs requires regular safety blood monitoring. This is expensive for healthcare systems and inconvenient for patients.

Research demonstrates that up to half of patients with RA in remission can stop DMARD therapy without a flare-up of their arthritis. However, currently no reliable markers can predict which patients are able to stop therapy.

The Technology: Biomarkers of remission

We have identified five biomarkers that, when combined, could predict flare following DMARD cessation. The technique has a sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 95%. The biomarker signature will have clinical value in identifying those patients with RA in remission who could safely stop DMARD therapy.

Competitive advantage

  • currently no reliable biomarker can predict drug-free remission in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • this test could be applied more than once for the same patient. For example, if a patient in remission has a test which is non-permissive for DMARD cessation, they may subsequently be tested at other points in the future if they remained in remission.
  • the test could also be used in patients in remission to monitor if remission has been maintained.

Intellectual Property

  • trial Details / Validation Data: available
  • available Territories: Global
  • patent Status Patent Number: Published patent: PCT/GB2019/050902
  • filing date: 28/03/19


Meera Vijayararghavan: