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[Comment] Rheumatoid arthritis: biological drugs and risk of infection

The first phase 3 trial of a biological drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis was reported in 1999.1 Infliximab, a monoclonal antibody that targets tumour necrosis factor (TNF), was shown to reduce disease severity. Nine biological drugs are now on the market for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which target various points in the inflammatory pathway, including TNF, interleukin 1, interleukin 6, CD28, and B cells. Biological treatments are undoubtedly effective; however, concerns about their safety have persisted, especially for the risk of infection.

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