Advancing the Science on RA: News from EULAR 2018

EULAR 2018 AmsterdamMy role at Myriad Genetics as Senior Strategic Product Director, Autoimmune, involves staying abreast of the latest scientific data in the autoimmune and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) space. Equipped with this information, I work to assess the existing clinical data to advance our knowledge of biomarker testing and its role in addressing the needs of patients with RA. One of my favorite ways of staying on top of the latest research is by attending medical meetings, such as the recent European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress, which took place in Amsterdam.

At this year’s meeting, Vectra was featured in several presentations, all of which demonstrated the value of Vectra in helping patients make better-informed decisions about their health.

· One study showed that patients with higher disease activity change therapies more frequently compared to patients with lower scores. This data indicates that physicians are focused on optimally managing patients with high disease activity and tend to focus treat-to-target strategies.[1]

· Another study correlated a higher Vectra score to a higher cardiovascular risk. This was important as it is the first study showing that cardiovascular risk for RA patients increases in patients with high Vectra scores.[2]

· Two separate studies that were published as part of the EULAR meeting validated the enhanced Vectra score as a significant predictor of radiographic damage[3] and showed that Vectra is effective in tracking response to the b-cell-driven agent rituximab.[4]

Another interesting study, presented by a group from Leiden University in the Netherlands, showed that the Vectra test is capable of identifying a sub-set of ACPA-negative patients who are highly likely to go into sustained remission without the continued use of DMARD therapy.[5] This is very promising because Vectra was the first biomarker to differentiate this sub-group of seronegative patients, and it was encouraging to see these patients doing so well. We are all looking forward to seeing further research around this finding.

In addition to taking in all the new data being presented, our team had the opportunity to connect with world-renowned rheumatologists through our Scientific Advisory Board. We also held 1:1 meetings with scientific collaborators to discuss research currently underway. In addition, we met with the Association of Women in Rheumatology, an amazing group working to promote and advocate for access to the highest quality of care through the advancement and education of female rheumatologists.

EULAR provides another fabulous way to support our collaborators, whose work featured the Vectra test. Much of the rheumatology news came from various scientific sessions. A lot of the buzz centered around biomarkers as they relate to treat-to-target, as well as biosimilars and the tapering of treatment for patients in remission.

Along with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting, which will take place this fall in Chicago, EULAR is one of the most important international medical meetings on rheumatic diseases. There’s a lot of energy at the meeting, and it’s exciting to be in a place where advances are being presented and discussed, knowing that these presentations make a real difference in the lives of RA patients.

Full abstracts of these and all EULAR presentations are available here.

[1] Curtis, J. (2018, June). Impact of the multi-biomarker disease activity score results on whether rheumatologists changed biologic therapy for RA patients. Poster session presented at the meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress, Amsterdam.

[2] Xie, F. (2018, June). Prediction of cardiovascular events in rheumatoid arthritis patients using a multi-biomarker of disease activity. Poster session presented at the meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress, Amsterdam.

[3] Curtis, J. (in press). Development of an adjusted multi-biomarker disease activity (MBDA) scores for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that accounts for age, sex and adiposity, with subsequent evaluation of the ability to predict risk for radiographic damage. [Supplement.] Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

[4] Roodenrijs, N.M.T. (in press). The multi-biomarker disease activity score tracks response to rituximab treatment in rheumatoid arthritis patients.[Supplement.] Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

[5] Boeters, D. M. (2018, June). A combination of proteins as measured within the multi-biomarker disease activity score at a presentation of RA identifies a group of ACPA-negative RA patients with high likelihood of developing DMARD-free sustained remission. Podium presentation at the meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress, Amsterdam.

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