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AbbVie Rheumatology

AbbVie has been striving to advance the standard of care in rheumatology for over 20 years. We are committed to creating a better tomorrow for patients everywhere.

A legacy of innovation

Since our beginning, rheumatology has been a key focus for AbbVie. Our curiosity and dedication remain unyielding as we use cutting-edge science to help improve our understanding of promising new pathways and targets, with the goal of delivering better treatment approaches for patients with rheumatic diseases.

Learn more about our rheumatology focus areas:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

This chronic, immune-mediated disease causes pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of joint function. RA can reduce patients’ ability to perform everyday tasks.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

Including several forms of chronic arthritis, this immune-mediated disease affects children ages 16 and younger. For patients living with JIA, early diagnosis and treatment are important.

Understanding SpA

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
This disease, associated with psoriasis, causes chronic pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Early diagnosis is important.

Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA)
A chronic inflammatory disease, axSpA affects the spine causing back pain. Not all forms of axSpA show up in an x-ray even if there are clear signs of inflammation; ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of axSpA that does show up in an x-ray. AS is more common in men, but women are often underdiagnosed. 


This group of eye diseases is characterized by inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to reduced vision or vision loss.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

The most common type of lupus, especially among women of childbearing age, this immune-mediated disease is associated with inflammation of multiple organ systems.

Pioneers in science

Targeted treatments

In order to develop targeted therapies, AbbVie scientists have demonstrated an unwavering focus on understanding what makes the immune system turn on patients, causing RA and other immune-mediated diseases. This knowledge allows us to target specific enzymes involved in the process.

Delivering a one-two punch

Immune-mediated diseases are complex and often operate through complementary pathways. We are exploring ways to inhibit multiple disease pathways and enable greater precision through technologies like antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and combination therapies. First developed for oncology, ADCs have the potential to deliver anti-inflammatory medicine directly to a target. Combination therapies may be needed to combat complex immune-mediated diseases by delivering two therapies in one package.

Real world impact

To help patients and health care professionals understand and maximize the effectiveness of our medicines in the real world, we investigate their impact outside of clinical trial settings.

Watch: From Concept to Care – How Scientific Teamwork Leads to Success

Carolyn Cuff, senior director, Translational Immunology Department, AbbVie Bioresearch Center, Kristine Frank, senior principal research scientist, AbbVie, and Michael Friedman, principal scientist, AbbVie give insight into what motivates, excites and challenges a scientific team as they work to find new ways to help more rheumatoid arthritis patients achieve remission. Watch the full video (below) and see the full story here.

Carolyn Cuff video screenshot

What does it take to make an idea come to life? Three AbbVie scientists give us an idea on what takes place behind the bench.

Watch: Unmet Needs in Rheumatoid Arthritis

In 2019, Aileen Pangan, executive medical director, Immunology Clinical Development, met with Dr. Marwan Bukhari, consultant rheumatologist, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS, and Clare Jacklin, deputy CEO, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, UK, to discuss the reality of rheumatoid arthritis, what achieving remission means to them and how researchers, healthcare providers and patient advocates are working together with the goal to improve the future for those with the disease. Watch the full video below (18 mins).

Screenshot of Dr. Aileen Pangan from a video

Aileen Pangan, executive medical director, Immunology Clinical Development, with Dr. Marwan Bukhari, consultant rheumatologist, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS, and Clare Jacklin, deputy CEO, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, UK.

Key pathways

Transmits messages from the outside to the inside of a cell that drive an immune response.

Activates helper T-cells and certain macrophages, which produce additional cytokines that are involved in the inflammatory process.

Contributes to the induction and maintenance of the inflammatory immune response.

Involved in the maturation of B cells, which produce antibodies that help the body protect itself.

Learn more about how we are moving science forward.

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