Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Metalloproteinase 3

Medical News Today: "The protein marker, metalloproteinase 3, now identified as the first significant predictor of joint damage in ankylosing spondylitis, could change patient treatment approaches, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC."

Update, 11/15: More on the protein marker from MedPage Today: the implication is that metalloproteinase 3 can predict just how severe the disease is going to be in an individual case, and indicate whether aggressive and expensive treatments (Enbrel, Humira, Remicade) are necessary, or not. Not all of us are facing the same level of severity, after all, but we can't predict how bad it's going to get at the outset.


Long-term results for Enbrel and AS

Pharmaceutical company Amgen announced long-term results for Enbrel (etanercept): after three years, they report, 59 patients in their clinical trial "experienced sustained improvement in signs and symptoms, spinal mobility and physical function." Of that 59, 46 experienced at least 20 per cent improvement, and 18 achieved partial remission. Business Week; press release (reprinted here and here).

It's interesting to see longer-term data on the new anti-TNF treatments, especially in the context of some anecdotal reports of them not working for people after a while.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Adalimumab (Humira) approved in Canada

Pharmaceutical company Abbot announced today that Humira (adalimumab) has now been approved by Health Canada for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. It's already been approved for AS in the U.S. and Europe, and it's already been approved in Canada for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Dr. Bernard Connor Bursary

Pharmaceutical company Abbott is setting up a €10,000 bursary in rheumatology in honour of Dr. Bernard Connor (1666-1698), the first person to publish a clinical description of ankylosing spondylitis. Born in Kerry, Ireland, Connor studied medicine in France and ended up as the Polish king's personal physician. He died of illness aged 32.