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Illustrated knee pain to represent psoriatic arthritis.
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FDA Approves Orencia Biologic for Psoriatic Arthritis

This new weapon in the fight against PsA may be taken alone or combined with other PsA treatments.

Good news for adults living with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA): You have another treatment to choose from. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Orencia (abatacept) as an injection or intravenous infusion to treat PsA. Orencia may be taken alone or in combination with other PsA treatments. 

In 2005, the FDA approved Orencia to help reduce symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. However, this is the first time the drug has been approved for PsA. 

Orencia is a biologic (a drug made in a lab from living cells) that prevents your immune system from attacking healthy tissues such as joints. The drug is designed to keep overactive cytokines, or proteins, from creating an undesired immune response resulting in inflammation. While the drug has been proven effective in reducing the symptoms of PsA, it is not a cure. 

“Psoriatic arthritis takes a toll on patients and families,” said Randy Beranek, National Psoriasis Foundation president and CEO. “We welcome the introduction of an additional treatment option for adults with active psoriatic arthritis, because we believe additional treatment options, along with further research, education, and support services, are critical for PsA patients.”

Results of a phase 3 clinical trial testing Orencia for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis were presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting in November 2016.

According to an abstract from the ACR meeting, after 24 weeks, about 39 percent of people who had been taking Orencia experienced a 20 percent improvement in their condition, or ACR20. About 22 percent of people on the placebo achieved ACR20 in the same amount of time.

Orencia is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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