Genentech receives FDA approval for Actemra

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new biotech drug made by Roche U.S. division Genentech for treating rheumatoid arthritis, Roche said Tuesday.

The FDA approved Actemra (tocilizumab), which is designed to inhibit the protein IL-6. While everybody produces IL-6 in their bodies, people with RA produce too much of it, resulting in inflammation.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating, progressive disease that causes severe stiffness and pain,” Allan Gibofsky of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York said in a statement on behalf of Roche. “Despite recent advances, many patients continue to experience painful symptoms. With the FDA approval of Actemra, patients will have an important new treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis.”

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