Question: What is prosorba column therapy and is it useful to treat rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer: A prosorba A column is actually very exciting novel technology in treating rheumatoid arthritis and it's where they put in two IV catheters -- these are large catheters -- in each arm and they essentially filter out a patient's blood through these columns, they're called prosorba A columns. By filtering it out they're able to take away the harmful agents on the white cells that maybe causing inflammation.
It's a very expensive therapy, yet it does have kind of a niche where it can be used, especially in a patient who may be suffering from an infection that has bad arthritis. Unfortunately recently it's become unavailable -- manufacturers stopped producing them recently. Hopefully they will come back and be used again. But in the advent of our new agents that we have available, specifically medicines that block TNF, T-cells, B-cells, and the new ones that are coming out -- the IL-6 blockers -- there's a whole new area of novel therapeutics that work very effectively in rheumatoid arthritis. They may actually work better than the prosorba A columns and be less expensive. And so I think that the prosorba A columns, although intriguing great innovative therapies, may be falling by the wayside.