SEATTLE — A drug made by Seattle-based Immunex that is used to relieve the symptoms of advanced rheumatoid arthritis also appears to slow or stop the progression of the disease when given in its early stages, a study published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine concludes.
The latest work shows that the drug, Enbrel, works better than the standard treatment, methotrexate, in these patients and carries fewer side effects. Enbrel works by blocking a natural substance called tumor necrosis factor, which triggers much of the joint inflammation in the disease.
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