Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disorder that, together with anemia, most commonly causes inflammation and tissue damage in joints (arthritis) and tendon sheaths. It can also produce diffuse inflammation in the lungs, pericardium, pleura, and the sclera of the eye, as well as nodular lesions, most commonly in subcutaneous tissue. RA can be a disabling and painful condition leading to substantial loss of function and mobility. There are approximately 2 to 3 million patients in the United States who suffer from RA. Despite recent advances in the treatment of this disease, half of all patients do not respond adequately to current therapies and continue to have active disease.
ALD518, targeted for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, entered Alder's therapeutic pipeline in 2007 with Phase I studies in healthy volunteers. Phase II studies by Alder were completed in 2009, while future studies will be conducted by Bristol-Myers Squibb under our November 2009 licensing and collaboration agreement.