Roche and Chugai have praised the decision of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to recommend their drug RoActemra plus methotrexate as a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients.
The companies stated that NICE's ruling to endorse the drug for patients who are unresponsive to treatment with MabThera as a move which will "benefit thousands of people with rheumatoid arthritis in the UK".
It comes on the back of data from clinical studies which show that patients using RoActemra plus methotrexate can achieve remission rates almost six times higher than methotrexate alone.
The news was also welcomed by Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, who said it will "give patients renewed hope that their disease can be controlled long term, giving them a better quality of life".
Roche and Chugai added that they will now work with NICE to expand this recommendation to a wider group of eligible patients.
Earlier this year, Roche published clinical research which demonstrated that RoActemra can also bring benefits to sufferers of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.See all the latest jobs in Pharmaceutical