* FDA approves Actemra for rare juvenile arthritis
* Actemra is already approved for rheumatoid arthritis
WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators on Friday approved Roche Holding AG’s ROG.VX rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra for treating a rare form of juvenile arthritis.
Roche has been trying to expand the use of Actemra, which was approved for rheumatoid arthritis last year and for preventing joint damage earlier this year.
The drug can now be used to treat active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children ages 2 years and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on its website.
SJIA, or Still’s disease, is a rare, potentially life-threatening disorder in children that causes severe inflammation throughout the body.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is estimated to affect 1 to 2 per 1,000 children, while SJIA affects about 10 percent of all JIA patients. (Reporting by Esha Dey, editing by Bernard Orr)