Philip Mease, MD: Taking Conferences Virtual in the Age of COVID-19

June 8, 2020
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Dr. Philip Mease explains the next steps for testing the efficacy and safety of upadacitinib for patients with psoriatic arthritis.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced all medical conferences planned in the last 3 months to adopt a virtual format.

The European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2020 meeting was no different.

The annual conference regularly brought out experts and researchers in rheumatology to present new data and discuss future projects involving psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases in the space.

Instead of being in Frankfurt, Germany, rheumatologists across the world were forced to present data in their kitchens, living rooms, and home offices.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Philip J. Mease, MD, director of rheumatology research at the Swedish Rheumatology Research Group, said while the face-to-face interactions were missed, the organizers of EULAR made the most of a bad situation.

“There’s so much rich interchange that occurs at say poster sessions or the meeting halls between sessions,” Mease said. “Research studies are born out of conversations that occur, but I have been impressed technologically about how clean and effective getting across the data has been.”

Mease presented several different studies during the three-day long virtual meeting, including new data showing upadacitinib as an effective treatment for psoriatic arthritis.

Upadacitinib, an oral, reversible, JAK inhibitor currently approved for treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, has the potential to be a frontline treatment for patients with psoriatic arthritis.