HEALTH CANADA APPROVES RITUXAN/METHOTREXATE COMBINATION TREATMENT

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Health Canada has approved Rituxan (rituximab) in combination with methotrexate to reduce signs and symptoms in adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to one or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor therapies.

Rituxan is administered in two infusions two weeks apart for a total of two doses, and depending on the return of signs and symptoms, patients have received additional courses 24 weeks after the previous course.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects 300,000 Canadians, reported Health Canada. Rituxan is the first in a new class of biologic therapies that selectively targets B-cells, which are thought to play a key role in the development and progression of the disease.