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Competing interests None.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
↵i The conference was organised under the sole responsibility of the departments of the Universities of Erlangen, Leiden and Vienna in collaboration with an Advisory Board consisting of the above-mentioned colleagues from departments of rheumatology of several US and European Universities. The following companies provided unrestricted educational grants for the organisation of this conference: Abbott, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Roche, UCB and Wyeth. The pharmaceutical industry had no part in the decisions about the specific programme and, with the exception of a few observers, participants were selected and solely invited by the Organising Committee. Several members of the Advisory Board and the members of the Organising Committee have obtained experience in the use of biological compounds in the course of their participation in clinical studies on these agents (for which the costs were defrayed by industry).