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Roche says FDA grants priority review for Actemra

The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside their headquarters in Basel, January 30, 2014. To match special report USA-FDA/CASES REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo - RTX2OO3Q

ZURICH (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted priority review designation of Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis medication Actemra for giant cell arteritis (GCA), the Swiss drugmaker said on Tuesday.

“We will continue to work closely with the FDA to bring this investigational medicine to people with GCA as quickly as possible,” Sandra Horning, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of global product development, said in a statement.

Giant cell arteritis is a chronic, potentially life-threatening autoimmune condition caused by inflammation of large and medium-sized arteries, most often in the head but also in the aorta and its branches.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin

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