The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has changed dramatically over the past two decades. The combination of better insights into the pathophysiological and immunological mechanisms of RA and the possibilities offered by biotechnology led to the development and introduction into clinical practice of a new class of antirheumatic biologic therapies, which along with earlier and more aggressive treatment contributed to dramatically better outcomes for patients with RA. To date, nine biologic agents have been approved for the treatment for RA, and a first Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor has also been approved in the United States and various other countries in the world (but not by the European Medicines Agency [EMA]). Many additional molecules with distinct mechanisms of action are currently being tested in laboratories and in clinical trials. In addition, considerable improvements have been made in the optimal use of all these agents through treatment strategies such as treating-to-target, induction-maintenance, and dose individualization.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.