June 10, 2013 | By Márcio Barra
RoActemra (tocilizumab), was the first monoclonal antibody that targets the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor, for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and was approved by EMA in 2009. IL-6 is a chemical messenger in the body responsible for the painful and persistent system-wide inflammation that people with RA suffer.
In a statement released by Roche, RoActemra can now be used to treat children, who have not responded to treatment with methotrexate (MTX), an anti-rheumatic drug, either alone or in combination with MTX, with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Roche stated that this is the second paediatric indication for RoActemra, following a 2011 approval for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Hal Barron, Roche’s chief medical officer, said the approval comes earlier than expected, just one month following the positive opinion from the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use.