December 2020

Highlights of 2020

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

2020 unfolded apace, dominated by COVID-19 - we have all had to adapt in our practice and in our knowledge base. Amid this there have continued to be a constant flow of publications and science in cytokine signaling, and as in previous years as we come the end of 2020, I will highlight some of the notable papers of the year. You can find the most notable papers, as selected by CSF Steering Committee Chair Professor Iain McInnes, with links to their respective detailed summaries below:

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Efficacy of baricitinib in patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis with 3 years of treatment: results from a long-term study

Rheumatology 2020; doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keaa576

Three year follow up data for baricitinib demonstrated efficacy in populations that span the clinical disease continuum in RA, including DMARD-naïve, MTX-IR, csDMARD-IR, and bDMARD-IR and was well tolerated. This study evaluated achievement and maintenance of LDA, remission and physical functioning in patients treated with baricitinib for up to 3 years. Data were analysed from two 52-week, Phase 3 studies (RA-BEAM and RA-BEGIN), and one ongoing long-term extension (RA-BEYOND). Patients completin...

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Points to consider for the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases with Janus kinase inhibitors: a systematic literature research

RMD Open 2020;6:e001374 doi:10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001374

Trials of JAKi have been conducted in many therapy areas, including rheumatology, dermatology and gastroenterology. In 2019, a task force was set up to create a consensus to guide clinicians on how to use JAKi in clinical practice. This systematic literature review conducted in 2019 support this consensusIn line with EULAR’s standardised operating procedures for recommendations, a literature search was conducted in EMBASE, Medline and the Cochrane Library databases. To evaluate the efficacy of t...

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Switching between Janus kinase inhibitor upadacitinib and adalimumab following insufficient response: efficacy and safety in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Ann Rheum Dis 2020; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-21841220

Both ACR and EULAR recommend adding a biologic or targeted synthetic DMARD in patients who do not achieve treatment goals at follow-up. Findings indicated that an immediate switch in mechanism of action (from JAKi to TNFi and vice versa) following treat-to-target principles is feasible with minimal risk of flare regardless of whether patients are switched due to non-response or incomplete-response.SELECT-COMPARE followed treat-to-target principles to examine the efficacy of switching in two pati...

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November 2020

Safety Profile of Upadacitinib in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Integrated Analysis from the SELECT Phase III Clinical Programme

Ann Rheum Dis 2020 DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218510

This integrated Phase III safety analysis of UPA showed that UPA had a similar profile to ADA and MTX for serious infections, malignancies, and thromboembolic events. Patients receiving UPA had increased risk of HZ and creatine phosphokinase elevation versus ADA.This integrated Phase III safety analysis of UPA examined >3500 RA patients and 4000 patient-years of exposure. Data were pooled from 3834 patients in SELECT-NEXT, SELECT-BEYOND, SELECT-MONOTHERAPY, SELECT-COMPARE and SELECT-EARLY studie...

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Trial of UPA or Abatacept in Rheumatoid Arthritis

N Engl J Med 2020;383:1511–21 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2008250

In patients with refractory RA to bDMARDs, upadacitinib was found to be superior to abatacept in DAS28-CRP change from baseline and the achievement of remission at week 12.612 bDMARD-IR patients were randomised 1:1 to UPA 15 mg QD or ABA, each in combination with stable synthetic DMARDs. At Week 12, patients with <20% decrease in TJC and Swollen joint count (SJC) had background medication adjusted or added. All patients completing Week 24 were eligible to remain in an open-label, long-term exten...

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Age-Based (<65 vs ≥65 years) Incidence of Infections and Serious Infections with Tofacitinib Versus Biological DMARDs in Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials and the US Corrona RA Registry

Ann Rheum Dis 2020; DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218992

Reports from clinical trials and the US Corrona RA registry showed that serious infection event (SIE) incidence was higher in older versus younger patients with RA receiving 10 mg BID of TOF and ADA, however, SIE risk was similar between age groups with TOF 5 mg BID and ADA.Data were collected from Phase II–IV tofacitinib studies, and the US Corrona RA registry. The clinical data set evaluated patients receiving TOF 5 and 10 mg BID versus TNFi (ADA/ETN) in RA patients aged ≥50 years. The EMA rec...

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October 2020

Preclinical characterisation of itacitinib, a Novel Selective Inhibitor of JAK1, for the Treatment of Inflammatory Diseases

European Journal of Pharmacology. 2020 Oct 15;885:173505. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173505

Itacitinib is an orally active JAK inhibitor and effectively delayed disease onset, reduced symptom severity, and accelerated recovery of inflammatory diseases in mouse models. Covington M et al demonstrated itacitinib’s high selectivity for JAK 1, its inhibition on IL-2 induced T cell proliferation and JAK/STAT signalling, its ability to also inhibit of the JAK/STAT pathway in response to IL-6 stimulation, and its effect on rat adjuvant induced arthritis model. The study used recombinant enzym...

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Efficacy of Baricitinib in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: Modulatory Effects on Fibrotic and Inflammatory Biomarkers in a Real-Life Setting

Int Immunopharmacol. 2020 Sep;86:106748.

BARI demonstrated to be a safe immune modulator that reduces the concentrations biomarkers of lung fibrosis and inflammation in RA patients, including a subgroup with interstitial lung involvement. Professor Alessandro and colleagues analysed the effects of baricitinib in a population of RA and RA-ILD patients in a real-life setting, describing any changes in lung function parameters, serum inflammatory biomarkers and fibrotic biomarkers after 6 months of treatment. Fifteen patients were recruit...

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Baricitinib, a drug with potential effect to prevent SARS-COV-2 from entering target cells and control cytokine storm induced by COVID-19

Journal of International Immunopharmacology. 2020 Sep;86:106749. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2020.106749.

BARI may potentially interrupt the passage of SARS-CoV-2 into the target cells by binding to AAK1 and GAK, which are regulators of the ACE2 receptor regulator identified for its uptake, and could also treat cytokine storm through suppression JAK1/JAK2. Professor Zhang and et al reviewed BARI, as a potential drug to prevent SARS-COV-2 from entering target cells. They also evaluated BARI’s ability to control COVID-19 induced cytokine storm. As a cell surface protein, ACE2 is involved in receptor-m...

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