News in brief: TGA allows longer shelf life for tocilizumab; Autoantibody test could help support IIM-ILD diagnosis; Osteoarthritis expert becomes nutrition company advisor

Thursday, 2 Sep 2021


TGA allows longer shelf life for tocilizumab

The TGA has advised that tocilizumab vials for intravenous administration continue to be stable for a further six months past their labelled expiry date.

The advice should help ease the pressure from the product shortage which is expected to last through to January 2022.

“We have assessed the additional stability data provided by Roche and based on this information, we consider there is sufficient evidence to indicate tocilizumab intravenous vials are stable for up to a total of 36 months with storage conditions at 2°C to 8°C (i.e. 6 months post the expiry date of tocilizumab vials),” the TGA said.

This advice does not apply to tocilizumab subcutaneous products ie. the pre-filled syringe and ACTPen Autoinjector.

Meanwhile, the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has added FAQs on baracitinib and tocilizumab to its Living Guidelines.


Autoantibody test could help support IIM-ILD diagnosis

A myositis autoantibody- (MA) detection assay could help clinicians identify idiopathic inflammatory myositis-associated interstitial lung disease (IIM-ILD), an Australian study has shown.

The study evaluated the MA line immunoblot assay’s (LIA) ability to help diagnose IIM-ILD in 247 ILD patients.

It found MAs were present in 13.8% of patients overall and 83.3% of IIM-ILD patients and that a signal intensity >10 had the greatest discriminative capacity for IIM-ILD (area under the curve: 0.96), the authors wrote in Respiratory Medicine.

Combined with clinico-radiological features, such as age, gender and an overlap non-specific interstitial pneumonia/organising pneumonia pattern on high-resolution CT, MA-LIA can help support an IIM-ILD diagnosis as a complement to multi-disciplinary ILD assessment, the authors concluded.


Osteoarthritis expert appointed as nutrition company advisor

Rheumatologist Professor David Hunter has joined nutraceuticals company Rapid Nutrition as Scientific Advisor to the Board.

Professor Hunter, the Florance and Cope Chair of Rheumatology and Chair of Institute of Bone and Joint Research at the University of Sydney, said the company was dedicated to developing high-quality nutrition backed by science.

Rapid Nutrition CEO Simon St Ledger said they were  pleased to welcome a globally recognised expert in osteoarthritis with an interest in the effects of obesity on joint pain.

“Our scientific team just gained incredible knowledge, experience and gravitas, thanks to the addition of world-renowned professor and osteoarthritis expert Dr. David Hunter,” Rapid Nutrition CEO Simon St. Ledger said.

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