As rheumatology evolves, it can be challenging to stay current with the latest research and treatments. The Handoff is a weekly roundup of the most important news and updates in rheumatic diseases. Keep your finger on the pulse of rheumatology with The Handoff.

–More than 83% of rheumatology professionals responding to an online EMEUNET survey consider themselves active social media users. Rheumatology Advisor wants to know: how do you use social media in your daily practice? Click to take the survey.


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–Inronwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced their American College of Rheumatology 2016 conference oral and poster presentations, which include highlights from the lesinurad (Zurampic®) extension studies. Follow Rheumatology Advisor’s ACR 2016 coverage starting November 12, 2016 for more.

–Researchers from Warwick Medical School in Coventry, England, have unveiled research on a breakthrough osteoarthritis (OA) diagnostic assay: a blood test of protein oxidation, nitration, and glycation biomarkers may be available to test for early-stage OA within the next two years.

–Mylan and Momenta Pharmaceuticals have begun dosing in a phase 1, randomized, double-blind, three-arm, parallel group, single dose clinical trial of M834, an abatacept (Orencia®, Bristol-Myers Squibb) biosimilar, for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The companies hope to report top-line data by the end of 2017.

–More from United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2016: researchers presented results from the phase 4 NOR-SWITCH (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02148640) clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of switching from infliximab (Remicade®, Janssen) to infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra®, Pfizer) in rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

—A tracker tool is now available at AllTrials.net, highlighting pharmaceutical companies and institutions that fail to report available clinical trial data in a timely manner. Will this increase research transparency and accountability? 

–FDA concerns have halted the approval of experimental interleukin (IL)-6 inhibitor sarilumab. The drug, manufactured by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, showed increased efficacy vs adalimumab (Humira®, AbbVie) in the phase 3 SARIL-RA-MONARCH (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02332590) trial, and was expected to reach sales of $1.8 billion by 2020.

–New academic research out of the UK is investigating rheumatoid arthritis treatment and management using software analysis to comb through thousands of patients’ real life experiences. HealthUnlocked, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), and the University of Manchester are conducting the study.

–The American College of Physicians released new clinical practice guidelines for the management of acute and recurrent gout, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

–Patients with psoriatic arthritis who have stopped responding to one tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) will likely experience reduced symptoms—but the initial effectiveness will likely be impacted, say researchers

–The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reports that preferential Janus Kinase inhibition with baricitinib in the NCT01721057 clinical trial inhibited radiographic progression of joint damage in patients with RA and a prior inadequate response or intolerance to conventional synthetic DMARDs. Lead study investigator Maxime Dougados, of Paris Descartes University, Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France, discusses findings in the video below. 

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