ORBIT: information for patients

What is ORBIT?

ORBIT is a research study that compares the effectiveness of two ‘Biologic’ treatments – anti-TNF and rituximab therapy – in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

What is anti-TNF therapy?

Anti-TNF therapy was the first type of biologic therapy. It is expensive but it can be very effective even in patients who have not responded to conventional drugs like methotrexate. You can read more about Etanercept, Infliximab and Adalimumab on the Arthritis Care UK drug information sheets.

What is rituximab?

Rituximab is another biologic drug, but it works in a different way – it reduces the number of B-cells in the blood.  You can read more about  Rituximab on the Arthritis Care UK drug information sheet.

Why do we need this trial?

We need to know which treatment is most effective.  If they are equally effective, it make sense to use the cheapest drug first, so that the NHS gets best value for money.

Can I find out more?

Yes. You can ask your own rheumatologist, or you can read a more detailed patient information sheet here.