This multi-national TOZURA study programme confirmed the efficacy and safety profile of subcutaneous tocilizumab (TC-SC) when administered as either monotherapy or in combination with csDMARDs. TOZURA was a Phase 4 study programme that evaluated open-label, TCZ-SC in patients with moderate-to-severe RA. A total of 1804 patients with active RA were enrolled in the study programme. Patients had inadequate responses to csDMARDs, anti-TNF therapies, or they were MTX-naïve. TCZ-SC was administered we...
This 2-year Phase 3 study, proved that subcutaneous tocilizumab (TC-SC) has long-term efficacy and an acceptable safety profile. Patients enrolled had been previously diagnosed with RA with an inadequate response to DMARDs. Patients were randomised 2:1 to receive doses of TCZ-SC (n=437) or PBO (n=219) every other week for 6 months. After this time, all patients received TCZ-SC. Escape therapy, defined as weekly TCZ-SC, was available to patients from Month 3. Efficacy was analysed using ACR respo...
Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) vastly improved in the first 24 weeks post-initiation of tocilizumab (TCZ) therapies compared to methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy in the U-Act-Early trial.U-Act-Early was a two-year, treat-to-target study that compared the safety and efficacy of TCZ and MTX treatment strategies in DMARD-naïve patients with early RA. Sustained remission was classed as more effective in patients given TCZ monotherapy or combination therapy with MTX compared to MTX alone. TCZ therapie...

December 2017

In this observational study, the German RABBIT cohort was used to assess the long-term effectiveness and retention rates of tocilizumab (TCZ) in patients with prior bDMARD failures. Results of the study suggested that TCZ could be an effective treatment option for patients with difficult-to-treat RA. A total of 885 patients were involved in the study and these were categorised dependent on the number of bDMARD failures they had prior to TCZ treatment. Patient data recorded in the cohort included...
In this post hoc analysis, six Phase 3 studies were used to analyse the effect of glucocorticoids (GC) on the efficacy of tofacitinib (TOF) in patients with RA. Concomitant use of GC did not affect the clinical or radiographic outcomes of patients treated with TOF. Data from all six clinical trials were evaluated, with four studies (ORAL Scan, ORAL Standard, ORAL Sync and ORAL Step) being pooled for analysis. In these studies, MTX was used as a comparison and patients were required to maintain a...

JAK Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy for Immune and Inflammatory Diseases

Nat Rev Drug Discov 2017;16:843–62 DOI: 10.1038/nrd.2017.201

Janus kinases (JAKs) are essential mediators of downstream signaling pathways in many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes current clinical data on first- and second-generation JAK inhibitors (jakinibs) and discusses their use for the treatment of immune and inflammatory conditions.First generation jakinibs such as tofacitinib, baricitinib, and ruxolitinib, non-selectively inhibit JAK-dependent pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are major contributors to immunopathology. T...

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Successful Treatment of Arthritis Induced by Checkpoint Inhibitors with Tocilizumab: a Case Series

Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76:2061-64. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-211560

This case series evaluated the use of tocilizumab (TCZ) as an effective treatment for patients who develop arthritis as an adverse event (AE) of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) cancer treatment. Results suggested that TCZ was an effective treatment, as it reduced the arthritis disease progression.ICIs have been defined as a revolutionary treatment for metastatic melanomas; however, a common AE is the development of polyarthritis. Current arthritis treatments reduce the efficiency of ICI therap...
This 6-month prospective direct comparison study analysed the effectiveness of tofacitinib (TOF) therapy on bDMARD-naïve and bDMARD-experienced patients. bDMARD-naïve patients were more responsive to TOF therapy than bDMARD-experienced patients.The study analysed the data of 113 patients diagnosed with high or moderate disease activity, defined using CDAI scores. All patients had failed to achieve CDAI low disease activity or remission with MTX therapy for ≥3 months. Patients were given 5 mg TOF...

November 2017

The results of this analysis of patients with herpes zoster (HZ) within the global tofacitinib (TOF) RA programme suggest that there is likely to be a greater HZ risk in patients receiving TOF and glucocorticoids compared with patients receiving TOF monotherapy.The global TOF RA development programme comprised 2 Phase 1, 9 Phase 2, 6 Phase 3 and 2 long-term extension studies. These studies included 6192 patients; data were reviewed to identify cases of HZ. Crude incidence rates of number of pati...

Tofacitinib or Adalimumab versus Placebo for Psoriatic Arthritis

N Engl J Med 2017; 377:1537-50. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1615975

In the Phase 3 OPAL Broaden trial of patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) with inadequate response to ≥1 csDMARD, superior efficacy was observed in patients treated with tofacitinib (TOF) compared with those given placebo. Patients were randomised to: 5 mg TOF BID, 10 mg TOF BID, 40 mg adalimumab administered subcutaneously q2W, or placebo with a switch to 5 mg TOF at Month 3. Adalimumab was used as an active control in the study. A variety of primary and secondary endpoints were used ...