December 2018

Professor Iain McInnes Reviews the Most Notable Papers from 2018

Please click the links below to go to the CSF review of each paper

2018 brought a wealth of new data in cytokine signalling and IL-6 that helps inform current clinical practice and brings the promise of new options in the future. There was good data on the use of sub cutaneous tocilizumab as well as strategies in early RA and for methotrexate tapering. For the currently marketed JAK inhibitors, tofacitinib and baricitinib, continuous long-term efficacy and safety data further support its current use and applications. On the development side, the outcomes of the...

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Evaluation of the Short-, Mid-, and Long-term Effects of Tofacitinib on Lymphocytes in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis Rheumatol 2018 DOI: 10. 1002/art.40780

Tofacitinib (TOF) treatment is associated with short-term transient increases in absolute lymphocyte counts (ALC), followed by a gradual decline to reach steady state by ~48 months. Changes in both ALC and lymphocyte subset counts (LSC) were reversible upon TOF discontinuation. Low ALC but not LSC were associated with an increased risk of serious infective episodes (SIEs) and herpes zoster (HZ). This data supported the treatment recommendations on ALC counts for starting and continuing therapy w...

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Influence of Age and Renal Impairment on the Steady State Pharmacokinetics of Filgotinib, a Selective JAK1 Inhibitor

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2018 Dec;84(12):2779-2789. DOI:10.1111/bcp.13726

Age and renal impairment (RI) had limited impact on the pharmacokinetics (PK) of filgotinib (FIL) but, in subjects with severe RI, exposure to the FIL metabolite was increased. FIL is a selective JAK1 inhibitor that is extensively, rapidly and proportionately absorbed after oral dosing from 50–200mg. Its major metabolite has a similar JAK1 selectivity profile but with reduced potency. In humans, exposure to the metabolite is higher by approximately 16–20 fold compared with the parent FIL. FIL an...

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November 2018

Safety and Efficacy of Baricitinib in Patients Receiving Conventional Synthetic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs or Corticosteroids

Rheumatol Ther 2018 Dec;5(2):525-536. DOI 10.1007/s40744-018-0128-0

Baricitinib (BARI) in combination with MTX and concomitant csDMARDs was shown to be efficacious, regardless of corticosteroid use in RA patients. MTX is prescribed to most RA patients but concomitant csDMARDs and/or corticosteroids can be added. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of BARI in two arms; with/without corticosteroids and; with MTX only/MTX plus csDMARD/csDMARDs only. Baseline characteristics and adverse reactions were also compared. Data were pooled from two phase 3 studies ...

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Herpes zoster in Tofacitinib: Risk is Further Increased with Glucocorticoids but not Methotrexate

Arthritis Care Res 2018 DOI 10.1002/acr.23769

The rate of Herpes Zoster (HZ) in tofacitinib (TOF) users with concomitant glucocorticoids (GC) was approximately double that of other TOF combination therapies.TOF is an effective treatment for RA. Increased HZ risk has been observed with the use of JAK inhibitors, whereas the HZ risk with biologics and targeted RA therapies are comparable. This study evaluated the HZ risk in TOF users according to concomitant GC, MTX, both, or neither. MarketScan and Medicare data were used to identify 8030 rh...

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Efficacy and Safety of Filgotinib, a Selective Janus Kinase 1 Inhibitor, in Patients with Active Ankylosing Spondylitis (TORTUGA): Results from a Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Phase 2 Trial

Lancet 2018 Dec 1;392(10162):2378-2387. DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32463-2

In this first clinical trial of filgotinib in patients with active AS, filgotinib significantly reduced disease activity, and the signs and symptoms of AS compared with placebo. The TORTUGA trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 2 trial, that enrolled 263 adult patients from 30 sites in seven countries. Patients with active AS and an inadequate response or intolerance to two or more NSAIDs were assigned 1:1 to receive filgotinib 200 mg or placebo once daily for 12 weeks....

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Efficacy and Safety of Filgotinib, a Selective Janus Kinase 1 Inhibitor, in Patients with Active Psoriatic Arthritis (EQUATOR): Results from a Randomised, Placebo-controlled, Phase 2 Trial

Lancet. 2018 Dec 1;392(10162):2367-2377. DOI 10.1016/ S0140-6736(18)32483-8

In this first clinical trial of filgotinib in patients with PsA, filgotinib was effective in treating the signs and symptoms of active PsA across various disease manifestations.The EQUATOR trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 2 trial, that enrolled 191 adult patients from 25 sites in seven countries. Patients with active moderate-to-severe PsA and an insufficient response or intolerance to at least one csDMARD were assigned 1:1 to receive filgotinib 200 mg or placebo o...

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October 2018

A Network Meta-Analysis Comparing Efficacy and Safety of Tofacitinib and Baricitinib

Z Rheumatol. 2018 Sep 6. DOI 10.1007/s00393-018-0531-5

Tofacitinib (TOF) 10mg and baricitinib (BARI) 4mg, in combination with methotrexate (MTX), were the most efficacious treatments in RA patients with an inadequate response to DMARDs or biologics. Both combination treatments presented acceptable safety profiles and were not associated with a significant risk of serious adverse events.This study employed a Bayesian approach to Meta-Analysis; combining the available evidence across a network of Randomised Controlled trials (RCTs).Twelve RCTs contai...

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Dose Reduction of Baricitinib in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Achieving Sustained Disease Control: Results of a Prospective Study

Ann Rheum Dis. 2019 Feb;78(2):171-178. DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213271

In active RA patients, with an inadequate response (IR) to DMARDs who achieve low disease activity (LDA) following baricitinib (BARI) 4 mg treatment, disease control is better maintained with continued BARI 4 mg compared to tapering to 2 mg.The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of BARI tapering in patients achieving sustained disease control with BARI 4 mg.In the long-term extension study RA-BEYOND, patients receiving BARI 4 mg who achieved sustained LDA or remission at two c...

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Safety Profile of Baricitinib in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis with over 2 Years Median Time in Treatment

J Rheumatol. 2019 Jan;46(1):7-18. DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.171361

Baricitinib (BARI) showed an acceptable 5.5-year safety profile in this integrated analysis of patients with moderate-to-severe, active RA.This study evaluated the safety profile of the oral, once daily Janus kinase inhibitor, BARI, in adults with moderately to severely active RA. Data from eight randomised clinical trials and one long-term extension study were pooled and analysed for placebo comparison and dose response.There were 3492 patients who received BARI for a total of 6637 patient-yea...

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