disorder that attacks the joints producing an inflammatory synovitis. About 1% of the world‘s population is afflicted by
rheumatoid arthritis, which is associated with high costs
and, if not treated appropriately, with a reduction in life expectancy. Current treatment options include small molecules like methotrexate or biologics like TNFa-blockers, but about 20 % of patients show little or no response to currently available therapies or suffer from severe long term side effects like infections (i.e. tuberculosis, viral brain infections) or cancer (i.e. lymphomas). Clearly, an effective RA drug has blockbuster potential as shown by TNFa-blocker Humira® (Abbott Laboratories) with annual worldwide sales of 4.5 Billion USD in 2008 (data by Medtrack).
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