AB Science has recruited its first patient in a phase 2b/3 study of its orally administered drug masitinib as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
AB Science, a French pharmaceutical company, announced last Wednesday that it had recruited the first patient in a phase 2b/3 study of its orally administered drug masitinib as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of the study is to compare the efficacy and safety of masitinib to methotrexate in treating RA patients who have failed to respond to methotrexate or other treatments.
The study aims to enroll approximately 450 patients in 90 centers around the world. The primary response evaluation will be the proportion of patients who achieve at least 50% improvement after 24 weeks of treatment.
In a press release, the study’s principal investigator, Professor Jacques Tebib of the Hopital Lyon-Sud in France, explains that masitinib works by selectively inhibiting c-Kit and Lyn, two kinases that promote mast cells, which are involved in the inflammatory processes associated with RA and its symptoms. Tebib adds that in phase 2 studies involving approximately 70 patients who had failed to respond to other treatments, masitinib achieved 50% improvement of symptoms in 30% of patients.