In May, 2017 the FDA approved a new IL-6 antagonist to treat rheumatoid arthritis — Kevzara (sarilumab) — from Regeneron and Sanofi. By blocking IL-6, an inflammatory cytokine, the swelling and pain linked to rheumatoid arthritis can be improved. Kevzara (sarilumab) is specifically used for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response or cannot tolerate one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). It can be used alone or in combination with methotrexate (MTX) or other conventional DMARDs.
In studies, the most common side effects linked with Kevzara included:
- increased liver enzymes
- injection site redness
- upper respiratory infections
- urinary tract infections.
In the MOBILITY study, treatment with Kevzara plus MTX reduced signs and symptoms, improved physical function, and demonstrated significantly less radiographic progression of structural damage, compared to placebo plus MTX.