Advanced rheumatoid arthritis medicine developed in Russia



 Biotechnological company BIOCAD has developed innovative medicine for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and other autoimmune diseases. According to scientists forecast, the new drug candidate (BCD-121) can increase the efficacy of treatment of RA up to 20% in comparison to currently available therapy regimens. BIOCAD has invested more than 155 mln. RUB., in very early development stages of BCD-121. As for today, there is no registered drug in the world with the same mechanism of action.

Modern medicines that are available for RA treatment are able to inhibit only one inflammatory protein or its receptor, for example tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or interleukin 17 (IL17) or receptor of interleukin 6 (IL6R). BIOCAD has developed the novel molecule, which can block two proteins simultaneously. BCD-121 is so called bispecific monoclonal antibody with superior functional properties and convenient subcutaneous form. According to BIOCAD's Vice President of R&D and Business Development Roman Ivanov: «Bispecific antibodies have synergetic effects that are likely to result in higher efficacy in comparison to monospecific antibodies that are targeting only one protein».

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Unfortunately, over the time one third of RA patients become resistant to monospecific drugs, which means that medicine blocking only one inflammatory protein, does not work anymore. According to scientists forecast, the novel molecule BCD-121 will be a solution for such resistant patients.

Only few other companies develop similar bispecific molecules. BCD-121 will enter the Phase I clinical trial already this year. The development program for the novel molecule will last until the year 2021 and a year after the new BIOCADs drug is expected to be on the market.


By Irina Kenyukhova

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