FDA Approves New Treatment for RA
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of an injectable methotrexate, Rasuvo, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and psoriasis.1,2 Rasuvo, which is manufactured by Medac Pharma, is delivered subcutaneously via an autoinjector, and will be available in 10 dosage strengths that range from 7.5 mg to 30 mg, in 2.5-mg increments.
Methotrexate is still the most commonly used drug for the treatment of RA and is recommended by both the American College of Rheumatology and European League Against Rheumatism as a first-line therapy for RA patients.3 Many patients who are prescribed methotrexate take an oral form of the drug, however, this route of administration has been associated with highly variable absorption rates and inconsistent bioavailability.
According to Medac Pharma, Rasuvo was developed to “optimize” methotrexate therapy and improve bioavailability.1,2 Additionally, the use of the autoinjector for delivery and concentrated formulations that allow for reduced drug volume will help to address the stigmas associated with injectable therapies.4
Eric Ruderman, MD, a rheumatologist and Professor of Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, commented, “as a rheumatologist, I believe Rasuvo will offer patients the opportunity to maximize the benefit they get from methotrexate. Rasuvo’s dosing flexibility, in particular, will be very helpful, as RA patients do not all respond equally to methotrexate, making it important to select a treatment regimen that is appropriate for the patient’s condition.” 1,2
Per the drug’s label, Rasuvo is a folate analog metabolic inhibitor indicated for:5
- Management of patients with severe, active rheumatoid arthritis and active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis who are intolerant of or had an inadequate response to first-line therapy.
- Symptomatic control of severe, recalcitrant, disabling psoriasis in adults who are not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy.
The approval of Rasuvo is exciting for patients with RA, as it provides a new option for the management of this condition.