The development of novel therapies for rheumatoid arthritis

Ling Dong Quan, Geoffrey M. Thiele, Jun Tian, Dong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic, inflammatory disease that affects approximately 0.5 - 1% of adults worldwide and commonly results in joint destruction and significant impairment in the quality of life. RA is considered an autoimmune disease with unknown etiology. Many pathogenic pathways of RA have been revealed recently, which has led to development of various novel therapies. Objective: The current treatments for RA fall into four categories: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticoids, non-biological, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological DMARDs. In this review, we discuss some of the most recent development in antirheumatic therapies. Methods: Using SciFinder Scholar and PubMed as our main search tools, we evaluated various newly developed therapies for RA. In each drug category, emphases are placed on the mode of action, limitations and new drug candidates from the patent search. Those therapies that are well-established are reviewed only briefly. Conclusion: During the past 20 years, most of the development of new therapies is in DMARDs, especially biological DMARDs. With the discovery of new pathways and the application of drug delivery strategies, more growth is anticipated in this research field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-738
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • DMARDs
  • Drug delivery
  • Glucocorticoids
  • NSAIDs
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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