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02-03-2018 | Tocilizumab | Review | Article

A Review of Recent Advances Using Tocilizumab in the Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases

Rheumatology and Therapy

Authors: Andrea Rubbert-Roth, Daniel E. Furst, Jan Michael Nebesky, Angela Jin, Erhan Berber

Publisher: Springer Healthcare


Tocilizumab (TCZ) is the first humanized anti-interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Castleman’s disease, polyarticular and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and, most recently, giant cell arteritis as well as for the treatment of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy-induced cytokine release syndrome. The global clinical development program for TCZ provides a wealth of clinical data on intravenous TCZ, and more recent studies in patients with RA have provided evidence characterizing the role of intravenous TCZ as monotherapy in early disease and led to the introduction of a subcutaneous formulation of TCZ. In addition, recently published open-label extension and observational studies continue to support the long-term efficacy and safety of TCZ in both clinical trial and real-world settings. Given the involvement of IL-6-mediated signaling in inflammatory disorders, TCZ is also being investigated in other immunological diseases. In particular, a phase 2 trial on the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous TCZ in adults with systemic sclerosis shows clinically relevant improvements in skin sclerosis and lung function in these patients. Another anti-IL-6 receptor agent, sarilumab, targeting the IL6 receptor alpha subunit, was recently approved for the treatment of patients with RA, although long-term data for this biologic are not yet published. In this article we review the placement of TCZ in current treatment guidelines; recent clinical trial data, including quality of life in patients with RA; recent updates to the TCZ safety profile; recent investigations of TCZ in other immunological diseases; and the clinical development of other novel IL-6-targeted agents.

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