Phaim Phaim

Therapeutic market
for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating, chronic and progressive autoimmune inflammation primarily affecting the joints. Its prevalence is estimated at 1.0% worldwide and is twice as common in women than men. Smoking is one of the most important risk factors. Worldwide it is one of the fastest growing autoimmune disease over the last 30 years both in terms of incidence and prevalence. There are 1.3 million RA cases in the USA (2014) and 2.9 million in the EU (2010). In the UK alone, there are 700,00 (2013) patients with RA. On average, every third person with RA becomes work disabled and up to 40 per cent leave work completely within 5 years of diagnosis. RA represent a huge burden to the individuals and to society as well.

Current treatments consist of Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug (DMARD) regimes which are a combination of immunosuppressive medication (Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, Azathioprine, etc..) often combined with different anti-inflammatory agents such as steroids. They work by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation, but not by treating the underlying autoimmune process. DMARDs take weeks to start to show effects in reducing symptoms. Treatments carry serious potential side-effects and even if aggressive DMARD regimes are started early in the disease process, remission is achieved in less than 25% of cases.

The combination of expense of DMARDs and the fact that RA is a progressive and debilitating disease ensures there is huge burden to society at large due to loss of workforce and premature deaths. In the UK the annual estimated cost of RA is £8.7 billion (2016). The societal costs of RA in the US were estimated at $19.3 billion and $39.2 billion in 2005 without and with intangible costs such as quality-of-life deterioration and premature deaths respectively. The mean estimated annual cost per patient in Europe with RA was €12,902 with the total mean annual cost of the disease across all European countrie estimated at about €25.1 billion (2008).

The market is desperate for a radical new approach to the treatment of patients with RA to better alleviate symptoms and reduce therapeutic and societal costs. Our AIM platform is uniquely suited to address this challenge.