Posts Categorized: News & Information

Will new autoimmune drugs lower cost?

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The average monthly cost of drugs to treat inflammatory conditions was more than $3,000 in 2015, according to Express Scripts’ 2015 Drug Trend Report, released in March 2016. Additionally, per member per year spend on drugs to treat autoimmune diseases was $89.10 in 2015, making inflammatory conditions the leading specialty therapy class as well as the leading class overall in the report. “Spending on autoimmune drugs continues to increase and utilization is rising,” says April Kunze, PharmD, senior director, clinical formulary development and trend management strategy, Prime Therapeutics. “Autoimmune is the number one specialty drug spend category at Prime Therapeutics within our commercially insured business, comprising approximately one in 10 dollars spent on all drug expenditures through the medical and… Read more..

False Claim concerning Diabetes Vaccine

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The discovery of a vaccine for the autoimmune disease diabetes was announced  on 18 September 2016 by a web site called Time for You. It published an article reporting that “The vaccine against diabetes promises to be the solution for the advance of the illness and even reverses its effects.” The story cited work of two supposed Mexican scientists, Salvador Chacón Ramírez, president of the “Live Your Diabetes Foundation,” and Lucila Zárate Ortega, of the “Mexican Association for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases,” along with Doctor Jorge González Ramírez, using a therapy called “auto-chemotherapy.” According to the Time for You article (which appeared to rely on a bad auto-translation), the procedure for immunizing against diabetes works as follows: About 5 cm… Read more..

Approval of autoimmune drug Stelara for Crohn’s disease


Johnson & Johnson recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s blockbuster psoriasis drug, Stelara, for use in adults with Crohn’s disease. The drug is approved in the United States to treat the skin condition scaly plaque psoriasis and a type of arthritis associated with psoriasis. Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory condition in the gastrointestinal tract, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fever. It affects about 700,000 Americans and nearly 250,000 Europeans, according to the company. The drug, which blocks two inflammation-causing proteins IL-12 and IL-23, is one of J&J’s largest revenue generators, with sales of about $2.5 billion in 2015. Late-stage trial data showed Stelara induced remissions in moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease patients who… Read more..

New class of molecules play key role in influencing the immune system

roresolving lipid mediators – resolvin D1 (RvD1), resolvin D2 (RvD2), and maresin 1 (MaR1) – modulate T cell responses.

In a study published online this week in Science Translational Medicine, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome report that resolvins and maresins, molecules produced in the body naturally from certain omega-3 fatty acids, regulate subsets of white blood cells that play a central role in inflammation and the immune system. The new findings suggest that resolvins and maresins are part of a new class of molecules that may be useful for treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Resolvins and maresins, first discovered by Charles N. Serhan, PhD, director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at BWH, are critical to terminate and resolve acute inflammation. Uncontrolled inflammation or failure to resolve… Read more..

A new genric “Humira” drug one step closer to an approval


A US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee just gave a critical recommendation for a version of Humira, the blockbuster arthritis drug made by AbbVie that brought in $14 billion in sales in 2015. The panel voted unanimously in favor of licensing ABP 501, the version of Humira that’s made by Amgen. The drug is called a “biosimilar,” which is like a generic version of a biologic medication, a medicine produced by living cells. Biosimilars are a bit more complicated than your average competing medicine: Unlike generics for chemical-based drugs like antibiotics, which can be interchangeable with branded versions, the copycats of biologic medications have a few more caveats. So far, the FDA has approved two. The first is a version… Read more..

Studies indicate cancer drugs may be useful for autoimmune diseases


A cancer drug reduced the impact of an incurable autoimmune condition, which researchers in England think may be applicable to other immune system disorders as well, according to a recent study. Researchers at University College London treated mice with uveitis, which can cause cataracts and other vision problems, using a cancer drug to block a genetic key that causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the eye. The immune system exists to clear infection by viruses and bacteria, but genetic mutation causes T helper cells to cause damage and inflammation to healthy cells. Using genome sequencing, the researchers found the genetic key P-TEFb caused the immune cells to attack. The key also plays a role in the growth… Read more..

Scientists Discover New ‘Super’ Immune Cells


Immune cells help protect your body from all kinds of invaders, including viruses and bacteria. Researchers from Scripps University have found an immune cell that takes protection to a newer high level. This previously unknown immune cell resembles a conventional T cell. However, it can transform into a regulatory T cell (Treg). Regulatory T cells have the ability to control the severity of the body’s immune response and protect the body from autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells. Understanding how regulatory T cells are activated could lead to new treatments. The findings of the new study were published online in the journal proceedings of the National Academy… Read more..

New national study finds Crohn’s disease diagnosis difficult to obtain and life altering


In a new national survey of Crohn’s disease patients, Health Union reveals that it was not uncommon for patients to see multiple healthcare professionals (HCPs), have numerous office visits, and endure multiple diagnostic tests before receiving a diagnosis. Results demonstrate an impact on such things as the ability to work or exercise, but also on overall quality of life and social activities. Respondents wished more people understood the disease and its impact. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract affecting about 780,000 people in the U.S. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fever. In addition, as an inflammatory disease, Crohn’s can have symptoms outside of the digestive tract affecting the joints, skin, eyes,… Read more..

Researchers Discover New Approach to Treating Autoimmune Diseases


A new study from the University of Calgary could change the way researchers understand and treat autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The complexities of these diseases have made it very difficult to develop treatments that can stop disease without impairing normal immunity. Using animal models and human cells in animal models, researchers at the university’s Cumming School of Medicine have discovered a novel mechanism that stops the immune attack, and have developed a new class of drugs that harnesses this mechanism to treat various autoimmune diseases without compromising the entire immune system. The study is published in the February edition of the prestigious journal Nature. “This discovery is significant because we now know how… Read more..

Zika virus might be linked to an autoimmune disorder


The Zika virus that has been linked to severe brain damage in infants may also be causing another serious health crisis. Brazilian officials and doctors have warned that hundreds of cases of a rare condition in which patients can be almost completely paralysed for weeks, Guillain-Barre syndrome, might be linked to the Zika virus. Until recently, the potentially life-threatening syndrome was so rare that Brazil’s Health Ministry did not require regional officials to report it. But last year, the authorities in north-east Brazil, the part of the country hit hardest by the Zika virus, counted hundreds of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, prompting doctors to sound the alarm. The immune system of patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome attacks part of the nervous… Read more..