FDA approves Orencia biologic for psoriatic arthritis

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.

 

 


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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