(HealthDay News) – A novel multi-biomarker disease activity (MBDA) test consistently distinguishes patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with different categories of disease activity.

Jeffrey R. Curtis, MD, MPH, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues investigated the correlation of a composite MBDA score with the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints based on C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP), and its ability to discriminate between patients with low and moderate/high disease activity. The composite score was generated from levels of 12 biomarkers from serum samples in three RA cohorts.

The researchers found that, in seronegative and seropositive patients, the MBDA score correlated significantly with the DAS28-CRP. The MBDA score also correlated significantly with the DAS28-CRP in all seropositive and most seronegative subgroups, based on age, sex, body mass index, and treatment. At 6–12 weeks, changes in the MBDA discriminated the American College of Rheumatology 50% improvement responses and DAS28-CRP improvement. At two weeks, changes in the MBDA correlated with subsequent DAS28-CRP response.

“Our findings establish the criterion and discriminant validity of a novel multi-biomarker test as an objective measure of RA disease activity to aid in the management of RA patients,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Crescendo Bioscience, which contributed to the study and biomarker analysis.

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