Considered a significant breakthrough in the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), etanercept (Enbrel) not only relieves the pain and inflammation of the disease, it actually targets the underlying pathophysiology. A genetically engineered protein, the IV drug attacks tumor necrosis factor, an immune protein that is responsible for the inflammation of RA. While adverse effects to be concerned about include injection site reactions like itching, pain, and swelling, clinical trials have turned up no serious infections or malignancies to date.
Immunex Corp., 51 University St., Seattle, WA 98101. Tel: 206-587-0430; Fax: 206-587-0606.