Infliximab (Remicade®) is now approved in Europe for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients who have severe axial symptoms, elevated serological markers of inflammatory activity and who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy. Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets and irreversibly binds to TNF-alpha, believed to have a pathological role in AS.
Ankylosing spondylitis is characterized by inflammation of the joints in the spine, which causes painful stiffening of the spine, often leading to fusion of the vertebrae which can leave the back curved and inflexible. In addition, AS can cause inflammation of peripheral and axial joints and tendons. Infliximab provides a treatment alternative for patients with AS.