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Systems Immunology Modeling: From Mechanistic Details to Clinical Outcomes in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr.-Ing. Markus Rehberg
Scientist QSP at Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disabling condition causing pain and deformation where standard of care medication only achieves a strong disease activity lowering in less than 30 % of patients. In the clinic, it is observed that the immune system response to treatment as well as the disease pattern of RA varies strongly among patients. This patient variability together with the complexity and versatility of the immune system easily conceals the interplay of regulatory mechanisms that are central in sustaining chronic inflammation.

Developing a new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs that are most efficacious in a broader, real world patient population requires a systems level understanding of the disease and hypotheses testing within a consistent and biologically feasible framework. For developing such a mechanistic framework, Sanofi and ROSA combined a vast amount of data from literature, clinical study databases and internal in vitro assays in a coherent way by using Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP).

The developed QSP model for RA transforms the way we use and implement data in drug research and early development and answers the burning questions of our leading scientists to support the development of the next generation of superior anti-inflammatory drugs.