The United States Food and Drug Administration has granted Break Through Therapy Designation for Roche's Tocilizumab (Actemra) drug for the treatment of Giant Cell Arteritis.
Giant Cell Arteritis is a chronic autoimmune condition caused by inflammation of arteries in the head and the aorta. The condition usually affects people above the age of 50 years. The disease may cause severe headaches, visual problems and jaw pain and is more likely to affect women when compared to men.
Tocilizumab from Roche has received prior approval in 2010 and the company continues to research and find new uses for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
She also added that this drug would be the first new treatment for the condition in 50 years.
The company also said that Tocilizumab combined with six month steroid therapy were found to be more effective through the year compared to the standard 6 or 12 month steroid therapy.