Unveiling the Global Landscape of Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials, with Judith Ng-Cashin, MD

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Judith Ng-Cashin, MD discusses Novotech's recent Rheumatoid Arthritis - Global Clinical Trial Landscape report.

In an interview with HCPLive, Judith Ng-Cashin, MD, chief medical officer at Novotech, discusses the recent Rheumatoid Arthritis - Global Clinical Trial Landscape report.

What might surprise some people, Ng-Cashin explains, is the amount of clinical trial activity focused on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment occurring outside of the US, particularly in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. There is a significant amount of activity in countries like China and South Korea, especially in early phases. This reflects the robust biotech and pharma activity surrounding biologics in general. This momentum is due in part to advancements in science, particularly in immunomodulators, encompassing both novel targets and pathways as well as biosimilars.

Development in this space is expected to continue, driven by innovation around immunomodulating targets within interleukin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), Janus kinase (JAK) pathways, as well as biosimilars. Despite the initial challenges in the biosimilar market meeting industry hopes for increased competition, price competition, affordability, and accessibility in developing markets, there is optimism that biosimilars will eventually deliver on these expectations.

Ng-Cashin believes the introduction of biologics and immunomodulators has been a game-changer for physicians and patients, particularly in treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Despite their effectiveness, they come with a substantial price tag, although this is generally reimbursed in the US if warranted by the condition. However, patients may be hesitant to switch therapies for fear of setbacks.

Luckily, there is a growing awareness of data showing comparable safety and efficacy of biosimilars. As more people adopt biosimilars and evidence of their effectiveness mounts, the apprehension surrounding switching therapies is expected to diminish. Nonetheless, overcoming this apprehension remains a challenge.

The evolving landscape in healthcare reimbursement, alongside the mounting evidence supporting biosimilars, suggests a push towards more cost-effective therapies. This aligns with the goal of introducing competition and decreasing prices for patients, something payers are heavily invested in influencing.

Efforts in clinical trials and treatment innovation, particularly in Mainland China, South Korea, and the United States, demonstrate a commitment to addressing this condition comprehensively,” the report noted. “As we navigate the future, the evolving understanding of RA promises improved patient outcomes and a more effective arsenal against this autoimmune inflammatory disorder.”

Ng-Cashin has no disclosures to report.

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