December 2014

Safety and efficacy of baricitinib at 24 weeks in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to methotrexate

Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;74(2):333–340

Recent innovations in the treatment of RA have focused on the use of small molecules to inhibit intracellular kinases such as the JAK family. Baricitinib (LY3009104, formerly INCB028050) is an orally administered, potent, selective and reversible inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2, which has shown anti-inflammatory effects, as well as preservation of cartilage and bone, in preclinical rodent studies.

This phase IIb study was designed to investigate multiple doses and dosing regimens of baricitin...

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The activity of JAK-STAT pathways in rheumatoid arthritis: constitutive activation of STAT3 correlates with interleukin 6 levels

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Nov 17. pii: keu430. [Epub ahead of print]

Non-response, parenteral administration and cost to produce are all aspects associated with the currently available anti-cytokine agents for RA. These related factors mean that alternative drugs are now being developed. Recent developments in therapeutic drugs to treat RA have focused on Janus kinases (JAKs) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STATs) transcription pathways. Several cytokines that regulate immune responses in RA, such as IFN-g, IL-6 and IL-10, activate JAK-STAT ...

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The JAK inhibitor tofacitinib suppresses synovial JAK1-STAT signalling in rheumatoid arthritis

Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Nov 14. pii: annrheumdis-2014-206028. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206028. [Epub ahead of print]

Targeting intracellular pathways such as JAK/STAT represents a novel approach to the treatment of RA. Tofacitinib is an oral JAK inhibitor, proven to be effective in the treatment of RA, yet the pathways affected by tofacitinib and the effects on gene expression in situ are unknown. In this study, Boyle et al. tested the hypothesis that tofacitinib targets cytokine signalling critical to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid synovitis by investigating tofacitinib effects on synovial pathobiology.
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Lipid profile changes in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis treated with biologics and tofacitinib in randomized clinical trials: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(1):117–127

Systemic inflammation, reflected by high levels of C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the most important cause of death in RA and SpA. Studies with TNF antagonists have given contradictory results on cardiovascular risk. As such, this systemic literature search aimed to analyse lipid changes in RA and SpA subjects treated with biologics or tofacitinib in randomized clinical trials.

The s...

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An evaluation of risk factors for major adverse cardiovascular events during tocilizumab therapy

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(2):372–380

The risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease among RA patients, compared with the general population is well documented. Alongside this, studies have been able to establish that risk factors in RA patients are not wholly associated with traditional CV risk factors such as such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, and dyslipidemia, suggesting a relationship between parameters of RA disease activity and increased CV risk. Additionally, IL-6 has been linked with the development of coronary heart...

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Combined inhibition of TNFα and IL-17 as therapeutic opportunity for treatment in rheumatoid arthritis: Development and characterization of a novel bispecific antibody

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(1):51–62

Single cytokine inhibition, e.g. TNFα or IL-6, has fundamentally improved the therapeutic armamentarium for the treatment of RA; yet clinically meaningful responses are achieved in only about half of RA patients treated. In addition, it is now well established that the pathogenesis of RA involves multiple mechanisms of cell activation and cell recruitment. These two factors have led to the emergence of the concept of dual specificity, sparking interest in the biologic arena, with a focus o...

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October 2014

Tofacitinib with methotrexate in third-line treatment of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: Patient-reported outcomes from a Phase 3 trial

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Sep 3. doi: 10.1002/acr.22453. [Epub ahead of print]

For many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, improvements in pain, physical function, fatigue, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are more important and meaningful than improvements in joint swelling, tenderness, or inhibition of structural damage. These patient-perceived benefits of RA therapy contribute importantly to overall clinical efficacy.

This paper presents patient-reported outcomes (PROs) form the ORAL Step trail, which assessed tofacitinib 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily, or ...

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September 2014

The active metabolite of spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor fostamatinib abrogates the CD4+T cell-priming capacity of dendritic cells

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015;54(1):169–177

SYK is a core signalling protein that drives inflammatory responses and is fundamental to the propagation of signals via numerous immune receptors. While the clinical development of the first SYK inhibitor, fostamatinib, was stopped due to poor results in the phase 3 RA programme, there remain important questions of mechanism which may aid future developments of this target.

In these murine studies, investigators sought to gain an understanding of how the active metabolite of fostamatini...

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Secukinumab in Plaque Psoriasis — Results of Two Phase 3 Trials

N Engl J Med. 2014;371(4):326–338.

Secukinumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to and neutralises interleukin-17A, a cytokine shown to play a crucial role in plaque psoriasis, as well as other immune-mediated diseases.

These two pivotal phase 3 studies in plaque psoriasis, FIXTURE and ERAUSRE, were sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Secukinumab met all primary endpoints, PASI 75 response and the response of 0 or 1 on the modified investigator’s global assessment, as well as key secondary end...

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August 2014

Changes in serum creatinine in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis treated with tofacitinib: results from clinical trials

Arthritis Res Ther. 2014;16(4):R158

Despite preclinical and healthy volunteer studies of tofacitinib showing no evidence of nephrotoxicity, increases in mean serum creatinine levels have been observed in patients treated with the drug during the RA clinical development programme. This report explores the clinical significance of this change.

Serum creatinine values and renal adverse event data were pooled from patients who received =1 dose of tofacitinib either with background DMARDs or as monotherapy in five Phase 3 studie...

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