Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the commonest autoimmune diseases affecting 0.8% of the population. Over the last decade the treatment of this chronic disease has been revolutionized by the use of monoclonal antibodies and fusion proteins, targeting molecules like tumour necrosis factor alpha. Nevertheless, approximately one-third of subjects fail to respond to these therapies and therefore significant unmet medical need remains. Following a decade of use, clinical, government and regulatory agency expectations have changed for new antibodies therapies entering this highly competitive area. In this review, we discuss the current advances being made in antibody engineering and how they are being considered and used in the development of the next generation of antibodies to meet future expectations of healthcare providers, physicians and patients. Moreover, we discuss how pattern recognition receptors may provide new antibody tractable targets that may break the cycle of autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis.
© 2011 MedImmune Ltd. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.