AbbVie has announced that its oral therapy Rinvoq (upadacitinib) has received a positive recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of moderate active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Rinvoq with methotrexate has been recommended as a treatment option for adults with moderate active RA whose disease has responded inadequately to intensive therapy with two or more conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs.

In a statement, AbbVie said the publication of this guidance follows its close work with NICE and the clinical and patient communities to demonstrate the ‘clinical benefit and value’ of Rinvoq in moderate active RA.

The decision also expands access to Rinvoq to an estimated 27,000 people living with moderate RA in England. Previously, NICE also issued a positive recommendation for Rinvoq in severe active RA in 2020.

"There are potentially in the region of 25,000 people living with active RA that, up until recently, have not had accessed to such advanced therapies, including JAK inhibitors,” said Clare Jacklin, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.

“Having more potentially life changing medications to select from to treat people with 'moderate' disease will not only improve the lives of the individuals with RA, but it will have an impact on their families, their careers and hence society as a whole,” she added.