URMC Rheumatologist Presents Data Showing Drug’s Potential to Ease Arthritis Symptoms

At the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting this week, University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) rheumatologist and professor of Medicine Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H., presented new, phase-3 findings further demonstrating the potential of STELARA – a biologic therapy already approved for patients with the red, scaly skin condition psoriasis – to help alleviate arthritic symptoms that vex about 25 percent of psoriasis sufferers.

Psoriasis, which affects an estimated 7.5 million Americans, occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals, ultimately accelerating skin cells’ growth cycles. The result is raised, ruby patches of skin, or silvery colored scales from dead skin pile-up. One in four people with the lesions is also at risk for joint pain, inflammation and bone destruction from psoriatic arthritis, which sometimes takes many years to develop.

Ritchlin was tapped to help lead a multi-site, multi-investigator trial sponsored by Janssen Research & Development, LLC, testing effectiveness of the injectable drug (STELARA, or ustekinumab) for psoriatic arthritis patients. Of note, in the past, Ritchlin has received consulting honoraria from Janssen; the particular data discussed at the meeting stems from a trial that was collaboratively designed, conducted and analyzed by Ritchlin, co-investigators from Janssen, and scientists at other U.S. medical centers.

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