European approval for childhood arthritis drug


Roche’s RoActemra has been approved in Europe for the treatment of Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA).

The medicine is intended to treat patients two years of age and older who have responded inadequately to previous therapy with NSAIDS and systemic corticosteroids.

RoActemra is known as Actemra outside of Europe can be prescribed alone or in combination with methotrexate.

Hal Barron, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development at Roche, stated: “RoACTEMRA is the first and only biological treatment to demonstrate significant efficacy in this patient population and offers physicians a new option for this extremely difficult to treat disease.”

sJIA is the rarest form of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), also known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). The disease affects about 10-20% of children with JIA, with the peak age of developing sJIA being between 18 months and two years of age, although the disease can persist into adulthood. 

Roche is a biotechnology company with focus on pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. The organisation manufactures medicines to be used in areas of oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS.