Cytokine Signalling Forum

Publications





June 17

Biologics or Tofacitinib for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis Naïve to Methotrexate: a Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis

Singh JA, Hossain A, Tanjong Ghogomu E, Mudano AS, Tanjong Ghogomu E, Suarez-Almazor ME, Buchbinder R, Maxwell LJ, Tugwell P, Wells GA.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017;5:CD012657

This Cochrane systemic review and network meta-analysis looked at the benefits and harms of biologics or tofacitinib in patients with RA not previously treated with MTX. Using data from 19 RCTs including 6,485 participants, the review found that biologics (abatacept, adalimumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab) in combination with MTX improved signs and symptoms of RA (ACR50) and increased the chances of remission (DAS <1.6 or DAS28 <2.6). There was also some evidence of an ...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Safety

Filgotinib (GLPG0634/GS-6034), an oral selective JAK1 inhibitor, is effective as monotherapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: results from a randomised, dose-finding study (DARWIN 2)

A Kavanaugh, J Kremer, L Ponce, R Cseuz, O V Reshetko, M Stanislavchuk, M Greenwald, A Van der Aa, F Vanhoutte, C Tasset and P Harrison.
Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76:1009–19

In these two Phase 2b studies, filgotinib (a selective JAK-1 inhibitor) was shown to improve the signs and symptoms of RA (compared with placebo), either as monotherapy or when added to MTX. DARWIN 1 included 594 patients with moderate to severe RA on a stable dose of MTX, while DARWIN 2 included 283 patients who stopped taking MTX before the start of the study. After 12 weeks’ treatment, significantly more patients who were receiving filgotinib 100 mg or 200 mg daily in DARWIN 1 or any ...

Keywords: JAK, Filgotinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Filgotinib (GLPG0634/GS-6034), an oral JAK1 selective inhibitor, is effective in combination with methotrexate (MTX) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and insufficient response to MTX: results from a randomised, dose-finding study (DARWIN 1)

R Westhovens, P C Taylor, R Alten, D Pavlova, F Enríquez-Sosa, M Mazur, M Greenwald, A Van der Aa, F Vanhoutte, C Tasset and P Harrison.
Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76:998–100

In these two Phase 2b studies, filgotinib (a selective JAK-1 inhibitor) was shown to improve the signs and symptoms of RA (compared with placebo), either as monotherapy or when added to MTX. DARWIN 1 included 594 patients with moderate to severe RA on a stable dose of MTX, while DARWIN 2 included 283 patients who stopped taking MTX before the start of the study. After 12 weeks’ treatment, significantly more patients who were receiving filgotinib 100 mg or 200 mg daily in DARWIN 1 or any ...

Keywords: JAK, Filgotinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Outcomes of Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor Cycling versus Switching to a Disease-modifying Anti-rheumatic Drug with a New Mechanism of Action Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Chastek B, Becker LK, Chen CI, Mahajan P and Curtis JR.
J Med Econ 2017;20:464–73

This retrospective study looked at claims-based datasets to establish whether it is preferable to switch to another TNF inhibitor (TNFi) or to a therapy with a different mechanism of action (MOA) when RA treatment failure occurs with an initial TNFi, due to inadequate response or lack of tolerability. Administrative claims data from a large US database were used to compare treatment patterns, treatment effectiveness (based on fulfillment of six criteria) and costs in in the 12 months after RA p...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Value

May 17

Estimated Medical Expenditure and Risk of Job Loss among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients undergoing Tofacitinib Treatment: Post Hoc Analyses of Two Randomized Clinical Trials

Rendas-Baum R, Kosinski M, Singh A, Mebus CA, Wilkinson BE and Wallenstein GV.
Rheumatology doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex087

The results of this post hoc analysis of two Phase 3 studies of tofacitinib (TOF) show that improvements in health-related quality of life related to TOF treatment are likely to translate into significant reductions in estimated medical expenditure and likelihood of current and future job loss. Data from 399 MTX inadequate responder (IR) patients from ORAL Step, and 716 TNF inhibitor (TNFi)-IR patients from ORAL Standard were included in this analysis. Patients were receiving 5 mg or 10 mg TOF...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Value

Discontinuation of Tofacitinib after achieving Low Disease Activity in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Multicentere, Observational Study

Kubo S, Yamaoka K, Amano K, Nagano S, Tohma S, Suematsu E, Nagasawa H, Iwata K and Tanaka Y.
Rheumatology. Doi 10.1093/rheumatology/kex068

This study showed that in patients who achieved low disease activity (LDA), it is possible to discontinue tofacitinib without flare in approximately one-third of patients. Patients from the tofacitinib Phase 3 programme and long-term extension study were enroled. Discontinuation was based on physician-patient decision making with informed consent. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients who remained tofacitinib free at post-treatment Week 52. Of 64 patients treated with tofacitin...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib

Tocilizumab Combination Therapy or Monotherapy or Methotrexate Monotherapy in Methotrexate-naïve Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: 2-year Clinical and Radiographic Results from the Randomized, Placebo-controlled FUNCTION Trial

Burmester GR, Rigby WF, van Vollenhoven RF, Kay J, Rubbert-Roth A, Blanco R, Kadva A and Dimonaco S.
Ann Rheum Dis Published Online First: 7 April 2017. Doi 10.1136/annrheumdis-20160210561

Burmester et al. present data showing that 52-week efficacy and safety of intravenous tocilizumab plus methotrexate, or tocilizumab monotherapy are maintained through to Week 104 in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. Patients were assigned to four treatment groups: 4 mg/kg TCZ + MTX, 8 mg/kg TCZ + MTX, 8 mg/kg TCZ + placebo or placebo + MTX. Patients not achieving DAS28 ≤3.2 at Week 52 and who were not receiving 8 mg/kg TCZ were rescued to 8 mg/kg TCZ + MTX. Of the 1162 randomly assi...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Phase 3

April 17

EULAR Recommendations for the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Synthetic and Biological Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drugs: 2016 Update

EULAR RA Management Task Force Smolen J, Landewé R, Bijlsma J, et al.
Ann Rheum Dis Published Online First: 06March2017. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210715

The EULAR 2016 recommendations update, based on three systematic literature reviews (SLRs) and expert opinion, comprises four overarching principles and 12 recommendations compared with 14, respectively, in 2013. These recommendations intend to inform regarding EULAR’s most recent consensus on the management of RA, with the aim of attaining the best outcomes with current therapies. All DMARD types: csDMARDs, bDMARDs, tsDMARD and bsDMARD are addressed, and cost aspects are taken into consi...

Sarilumab improves Patient-reported Outcomes in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients with Inadequate Response/Intolerance to Tumour Necrosis Factor Inhibitors

Strand V, Reaney M, Chen C-I, Proudfoot CWJ, Guillonneau S, Bauer D, Mangan E, Graham NMH, van Hoogstraten H, Lin Y, Pacheco-Tena C, Fleischmann R.
RMD Open 2017;3:e000416. DOI:10.1136/rmdopen-2016-000416

Evidence is presented that treatment with sarilumab demonstrates patient-reported benefits in TNF-IR patients with moderate to severe RA. These improvements complement the clinical efficacy previously reported for sarilumab, and are consistent with those seen in the MOBILITY trial (MTX-IR patients)1, yet in a more difficult-to-treat population. Data were analysed from the 24-week Phase 3 TARGET randomised controlled trial in adult patients with active RA and previous inadequate response or into...

Keywords: IL-6, Sarilumab, Clinical, Phase 3

March 17

A Phase IIb Study of ABT-494, a Selective JAK-1 Inhibitor, in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to Anti–Tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy

Kremer JM, Emery P, Camp HS, Friedman A, Wang L, Othman AA, Khan N, Pangan AL, Jungerwirth S and Keystone EC.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2016;68:2867–77

The summary and accompanying slide deck have been developed in conjunction with the Genovese et al. study (Study 1) which examined ABT-494 in MTX-IR patients in order to compare and contrast the data. In these two Phase 2b studies, ABT-494 (a novel selective JAK-1 inhibitor) was shown to be effective in patients with active RA who were non-responders to MTX or at least one TNF inhibitor. Patients with active RA who had an inadequate response to MTX (study 1) or were refractory to or intoleran...

Efficacy and Safety of ABT-494, a Selective JAK-1 Inhibitor, in a Phase IIb Study in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to Methotrexate

Genovese MC, Smolen JS, Weinblatt ME, Burmester GR, Meerwein S, Camp HS, Wang L, Othman AA, Khan N, Pangan AL and Jungerwirth S.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2016;68:2857–66

The summary and accompanying slide deck have been developed in conjunction with the Kremer et al. study (Study 2) which examined ABT-494 in TNF-IR patients in order to compare and contrast the data. In these two Phase 2b studies, ABT-494 (a novel selective JAK-1 inhibitor) was shown to be effective in patients with active RA who were non-responders to MTX or at least one TNF inhibitor. Patients with active RA who had an inadequate response to MTX (study 1) or were refractory to or intolerant ...

Keywords: JAK, Upadacitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Cardiovascular Safety of Tocilizumab versus Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis – a Multi-database Cohort Study

Kim SC, Solomon DH, Rogers JR, Gale S, Klearman M, Sarsour K and Schneeweiss S.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2017 Feb 28. doi: 10.1002/art.40084

This multi-database population-based US cohort study found no evidence of an increased cardiovascular (CV) risk among RA patients who switched from a different biologic drug or tofacitinib to tocilizumab (TCZ) versus to a TNF inhibitor (TNFi). The study used claims data in patients with RA newly starting treatment with TCZ or a TNFi from three large databases: Medicare (n=7397), PharMetrics (n=8119) and MarketScan (n=12512). Included within the analysis were 9218 TCZ initiators propensity-score...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Real World, Cardiovascular

Efficacy and Safety of Tofacitinib in Older and Younger Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Curtis JR, Schulze-Koops H, Takiya L, Mebus CA, Terry KK, Biswas P and Jones TV.
Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Jan 4

In this analysis of patients with moderate to severe RA treated with tofacitinib (TOF) in Phase 3 and long-term extension (LTE) studies, patients aged 65 years had similar efficacy and a numerically higher risk of SAEs and discontinuations due to AEs compared with younger patients. The Phase 3 population included patients from five trials (n=3111) of TOF 5 mg or 10 mg BID or placebo. The LTE population (n=4102) included patients from two studies who had participated in Phase 1, 2 or 3 TOF stud...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Efficacy and Safety of Sirukumab in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Refractory to Anti-TNF Therapy (SIRROUND-T): A Randomised, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Parallel-group, Multinational, Phase 3 Study

Aletaha D, Bingham CO 3rd, Tanaka Y, Agarwal P, Kurrasch R, Tak PP and Popik S.
Lancet 2017;pii:S0140-6736(17)30401-4

In this Phase 3 multicentre, randomised controlled trial in patients with active RA who were refractory or intolerant to previous biological treatment with at least one TNF inhibitor, sirukumab 50 mg every four weeks (Q4W) or 100 mg every two weeks (Q2W) was well tolerated and significantly improved signs and symptoms of disease. Patients were randomised 1:1:1 to placebo (n=294), sirukumab 50 mg Q4W (n=292) or sirukumab 100 mg Q2W (n=292), while continuing any concomitant DMARDs. Of the 878 ran...

Keywords: IL-6, Sirukumab, Clinical, Phase 3

February 17

Analysis of Haematological Changes in Tofacitinib-treated Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis across Phase 3 and Long-term Extension Studies

Schulze-Koops H, Strand V, Nduaka C, DeMasi R, Wallenstein G, Kwok K and Wang L.
Rheumatology 2017;56:46–57.

In this analysis examining haematological changes after tofacitinib (TOF) treatment in patients with RA from pooled Phase 3 and LTE studies, TOF decreased mean lymphocyte counts and slightly increased mean haemoglobin (Hb) levels. The Phase 3 population included patients from six trials (n=4271) of TOF 5- or 10 mg BID, placebo or active comparator up to 24 months. The LTE population (n=4858) included patients from two studies (of up to 84 months), who had participated in Phase 1, 2 or 3 TOF st...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Safety

Tocilizumab Use in Pregnancy: Analysis of a Global Safety Database Including Data from Clinical Trials and Post-marketing Data

Hoeltzenbein M, Beck E, Rajwanshib R, GøtestamSkorpen C, Berberb E, Schaefera C, Østensenc M, .
Semin Arthritis Rheum 2016;46:238–45. DOI 10.1016/j.seminarthrit.2016.05.004.

This dataset is the largest series of tocilizumab (TCZ)-exposed pregnancies to date; considering the limitations of global safety databases, the data presented provide information to assist physicians and patients in making informed decisions. At present, published experience on TCZ use during pregnancy is very limited. In the current analysis, all pregnancy-related reports in the Roche Global Safety Database until December 31, 2014 were analysed. Outcomes assessed included: spontaneous abortio...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Safety

Peficitinib, a JAK Inhibitor, in Combination with Limited Conventional Synthetic DMARDs in the Treatment of Moderate-to-severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

Genovese MC, Greenwald M, Codding C, Zubrzycka-Sienkiewicz A, Kivitz AJ, Wang A, Shay K, Wang X, Garg JP, Cardiel MH.
Arthritis Rheumatol DOI 10.1002/art.40054. Accepted article.

In this Phase 2b study in patients with moderate to severe RA, once-daily peficitinib in combination with limited csDMARDs reduced the symptoms of RA, demonstrated a dose-dependent ACR20 response rate over 12 weeks, and showed acceptable tolerability. This 12-week study included patients who had an inadequate response or intolerance to csDMARDs (N=289). Patients were randomised 1:1:1:1:1 to peficitinib 25-, 50-, 100, 150 mg or matching placebo. Statistically significant differences in the AC...

Keywords: JAK, Peficitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Baricitinib in Patients with Inadequate Response or Intolerance to Conventional Synthetic DMARDs: Results from the RA-BUILD Study

Dougados M, van der Heijde D, Chen Y-C, Greenwald M, Drescher E, Liu J, Beattie S, Witt S, de la Torre I, Gaich C, Rooney T, Schlichting D, de Bono S, Emery P.
Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76:88–95.

Baricitinib improved symptoms of RA in the RA-BUILD trial, a Phase 3 study of baricitinib in patients with moderately to severely active RA, refractory to or intolerant to csDMARDs. As well as providing a short-term (24 weeks) benefit, there appeared to be joint damage benefit, considered a marker of long-term disability. RA-BUILD was a 24-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group study. Patients were randomised 1:1:1 to receive once-daily doses of placebo (n=228) or bari...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

January 17

Effects of Baricitinib on Lipid, Apolipoprotein, and Lipoprotein Particle Profiles in a Phase 2b Study in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis

Kremer J, Genovese MC, Keystone E, Taylor PC, Zuckerman SH, Ruotolo G, Schlichting DE, Crotzer VL, Nantz E, Beattie SD and Macias WL.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2017. DOI 10.1002/art.40036.

In this analysis of the effect of baricitinib on changes in lipid profile, lipoprotein particle size and apolipoprotein content, increases in serum lipids were observed with HDL-C increases correlating with improved clinical outcomes. Eligible patients (N=301) met the inclusion criteria for the Phase 2b randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.1 Patients were assigned in a 2:1:1:1:1 ratio to once-daily doses of placebo or baricitinib 1, 2, 4, or 8 mg, respectively. Those receiving 2 m...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Five-year Efficacy and Safety of Tocilizumab Monotherapy in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis who were Methotrexate- and Biologic-naïve or Free of Methotrexate for 6 Months: the AMBITION Study

Jones G, Wallace T, McIntosh MJ, Brockwell L, Gómez-Reino JJ, Sebba A.
J Rheumatol 2017;44:2. DOI 10.3899/jrheum.160287.

Results from the AMBITION study (Actemra versus Methotrexate double-Blind Investigate Trial In mONotherapy), showed the continuing efficacy and safety of tocilizumab up to 264 weeks. AMBITION was a 24-week randomised controlled trial in patients with active RA who were either MTX-naïve or MTX-free for 6 months prior to study entry. Patients received TCZ 8 mg/kg IV Q4W or oral MTX weekly (7.5 mg dose escalating to 20 mg). For those patients who then entered the long-term extension (LTE) stu...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Efficacy

Evaluation of Real-World Experience with Tofacitinib Compared with Adalimumab, Etanercept, and Abatacept in RA Patients with 1 Previous Biologic DMARD: Data from a U.S. Administrative Claims Database

Harnett J, Gerber R, Gruben D, Koenig AS and Chen C.
J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016 Dec;22(12):1457-1471.

Data were examined to compare patient characteristics, treatment patterns and costs in patients with RA receiving tofacitinib (TOF) or common bDMARDs (adalimumab [ADA], etanercept (ETN) or abatacept [ABA]) who had previously received a single bDMARD. This study analyses real-world data from two US claims databases between November 2012 and October 2014. Data were collected from a total of 1252 patients in the Truven Marketscan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental databases. Pre-index (12-month...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Value

December 16

Sarilumab and Non-biologic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs in Patients with Active RA and Inadequate Response or Intolerance to TNF Inhibitors

Fleischmann R, van Adelsberg J, Lin Y, da Rocha, Castelar-Pinheiro G, Brzezicki J, Hrycaj P, Graham NMH, van Hoogstraten H, Bauer D, Burmester GR.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2016. DOI:10.1002/art.39944.

In this Phase 3 study (TARGET) of TNF-IR patients, sarilumab plus csDMARD(s) demonstrated clinical efficacy and improvements in physical function versus placebo plus csDMARD(s). Patients (N=546) were randomised 1:1:1 to sarilumab 150 mg, 200 mg Q2W or placebo (all plus csDMARD[s]). Two co-primary endpoints versus placebo were investigated: ACR20 response rate at Week 24, and HAQ-DI change from baseline at Week 12. As well as improvements in ACR20 responses (33.7% vs 55.8 and 60.9%, for placebo...

Keywords: IL-6, Sarilumab, Clinical, Phase 3

Efficacy and Safety of Sarilumab Monotherapy versus Adalimumab Monotherapy for the Treatment of Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis (MONARCH): a Randomised, Double-blind, Parallel-group Phase III Trial

Burmester GR, Lin Y, Patel R, van Adelsberg J, Mangan EK, Graham NMH, van Hoogstraten H, Bauer D, Vargas JI, Lee E-B.
Ann Rheum Dis 2016. DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210310

In this Phase 3 superiority study (MONARCH) of patients with active RA who should not continue treatment with MTX because of intolerance or inadequate response, sarilumab monotherapy demonstrated superior efficacy to adalimumab (ADA) monotherapy. Patients receiving sarilumab versus ADA also reported greater improvement in health status, including a trend towards greater improvement in fatigue. In this randomised, multicentre study, patients received sarilumab 200 mg Q2W plus placebo (n=184) or ...

Keywords: IL-6, Sarilumab, Clinical, Phase 3

Peficitinib, a JAK Inhibitor, in the Treatment of Moderate-to-severe Rheumatoid Arthritis in Methotrexate-inadequate Responders

Kivitz AJ, Gutierrez-Ureña SR, Poiley J, Genovese MC, Kristy R, Shay K, Wang X, Garg JP, Zubrzycka-Sienkiewicz A.
Arthritis & Rheum 2016; ePub ahead of print

This Phase 2b study of peficitinib (ASP015K), an orally administered once-daily JAK inhibitor, plus MTX, demonstrated efficacy across multiple secondary endpoints with higher peficitinib doses. Peficitinib in combination with MTX was well tolerated with a safety profile that was consistent with previous studies. A high placebo response rate was seen in both Latin and North America, when patient data were stratified. This high placebo rate is problematic for the accurate interpretation of pefic...

Keywords: JAK, Peficitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Efficacy of VX-509 (decernotinib) in Combination with a Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drug in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Clinical and MRI Findings

Genovese M, Yang F, Østergaard M and Kinnman N.
Ann Rheum Dis 2016;75:1979–83

This Phase 2b study of VX-509 (decernotinib), a selective JAK3 inhibitor, showed that VX-509 in combination with stable DMARD therapy was effective for improving synovitis and osteitis as assessed by MRI in patients who had an inadequate response to DMARD therapy. Patients were randomised to treatment groups receiving either placebo, VX-509 100 mg, 200 mg or 300 mg for 12 weeks. Minimum inclusion criteria included Grade ≥2 clinical synovitis in either the wrist or two metacarpophalangeal joi...

Keywords: JAK, Decernotinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Baricitinib, Methotrexate, or Combination in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and no or Limited Prior Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug Treatment

Fleischmann F, Schiff M, van der Heijde D, Ramos-Remus C, Spindler A, Stanislav M, Zerbini CAF, Gurbuz S, Dickson C, de Bono S, Schlichting D, Beattie S, Kuo W-L, Rooney T, Macias W, Takeuchi T.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2016. DOI 10.1002/art.39953. Accepted article

In this 52-week study of patients receiving initial therapy for RA, baricitinib alone or in combination with MTX demonstrated superior efficacy compared with MTX alone. Patients naïve to csDMARD (no or <3 doses of MTX) or bDMARD were randomised 4:3:4 (N=588) to MTX QW, baricitinib 4 mg QD or baricitinib 4 mg QD + MTX QW. The primary endpoint assessment was noninferiority of baricitinib monotherapy to MTX based on ACR20 response at Week 24. Not only was the primary endpoint met, baricit...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

October 16

Tocilizumab as Monotherapy or Combination Therapy for Treating Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Meta-analysis of efficacy and Safety Reported in Randomized Controlled Trials

Teitsma XM, Marijnissen AKA, Bijlsma JWJ, Lafeber FPJ, Jacobs JWG.
Arthritis Res Ther 2016; 18:211. DOI 10.1186/s13075-016-1108-9

This is the first meta-analysis comparing efficacy and safety of TCZ monotherapy (TCZMONO) versus TCZ + csDMARD (TCZCOMBI) in patients with RA. The findings show that similar efficacy can be expected with TCZ monotherapy in patients with intolerance to csDMARDs compared with inadequate responders to csDMARDs who switch to TCZ add-on therapy. A total of 6679 patients from 13 studies were included, receiving: 1298, TCZMONO; 3077, TCZCOMBI; 2204, csDMARDs. Meta-analyses were performed for the foll...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Phase 3

Sarilumab plus Methotrexate Improves Patient-reported Outcomes in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inadequate Responses to Methotrexate: Results of a Phase III Trial

Strand V, Kosinski M, Chen C-I, Joseph G, Rendas-Baum R, Graham NMH, van Hoogstraten H, Bayliss M, Fan C, Huizinga T, Genovese MC.
Arthritis Res Ther 2016; 18:198. DOI.10.1186/s13075-016-9

Evidence is presented that treatment with sarilumab improves patient-reported outcomes (PROs). These improvements complement the clinical efficacy previously reported for sarilumab. Data were analysed from the 52-week Phase 3 MOBILITY randomised controlled trial in adult patients with active RA and previous inadequate response to MTX. Patients received subcutaneous placebo or sarilumab 150 mg or 200 mg every 2 weeks in combination with MTX, for 52 weeks. PROs assessed were: Patient Global Asse...

Keywords: IL-6, Sarilumab, Clinical, PRO

Tofacitinib in Combination with Conventional DMARDs in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: PROs from a Phase 3 Randomised Controlled Trial

Strand V, Kremer JM, Gruben D, Krishnaswami S, Zwillich SH, Wallenstein GV.
Arthritis Care Res 2016; Accepted article. DOI 10.1002/acr.23004

Further evidence is presented that treatment with tofacitinib improves patient-reported outcomes (PROs), in addition to improving underlying disease activity. Data were analysed from the Phase 3 ORAL Sync 12-month randomised controlled trial in adult patients with active RA and previous inadequate response to ≥1 conventional or biologic DMARD(s). Patients received (4:4:1:1) TOF 5mg or 10mg BID or Placebo advanced to 5 mg or 10 mg BID plus conventional DMARD(s). PROs assessed at Month 3 were...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, PRO

RAPID3 and ACR/EULAR Provisional Definitions as Predictors of Radiographic Outcome in a Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trial with Tocilizumab

Khawaja MN, Bergman MJ, Yourish J, Pei J, Reiss W, Keystone E.
Arthritis Care Res 2016; Accepted article. DOI 10.1002/acr.23008.

The findings reported represent the first validation of RAPID3 (Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3) remission ± SJC ≤1 as an alternative to the established SDAI or Boolean remission definitions, which can be time consuming and costly to measure. RAPID3 is a pooled index of the patient-reported measures: function, pain and Patient Global estimate of status. Data were analysed from the TociLIzumab Safety and THE Prevention of Structural Joint Damage (LITHE) study, a 2-year doubl...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Radiographic

September 16

Treating Experimental Arthritis with the Innate Immune Inhibitor Interleukin-37 Reduces Joint and Systemic Inflammation

Cavalli G, Koenders M, Kalabokis V, Kim J, Tan AC, Garlanda C, Manovani A, Dagna L, Joosten LAB, Dinarello CA.
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2016; DOI 10.1093/rheumatology/kew325

IL-37, a member of the IL-1 family, has recently been characterised as a fundamental inhibitor of innate inflammation. This study examines the effects of recombinant IL-37 on joint inflammation and pathology in a mouse model of arthritis, and also explores its potential in the treatment of human joint inflammation. In this mouse model of experimental arthritis, short-term, low-dose treatment with IL-37 suppressed joint and systemic inflammation. Wild-type mice received three intraperitoneal dos...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

August 16

A Randomized Phase 2b Study of ABT-494, a Selective JAK Inhibitor in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to Methotrexate

Genovese M, Smolen J, Weinblatt M, Burmester G, Meerwein S, Camp H, Wang L, Othman A, Khan N, Pangan A, Jungerwirth S.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2016; Accepted article DOI 10.1002/art-39808 [Epub 2016]

This dose-ranging study evaluated the efficacy of the novel, selective JAK1 inhibitor ABT-494 versus placebo in patients with moderate-to-severe RA and inadequate response (IR) to MTX. In this 12-week, randomised, double-blind study (BALANCE II), the efficacy and safety of ABT-494 dosed at 3mg, 6 mg, 12 mg, 18 mg (all twice daily) and 24 mg (once daily) was assessed. Patients included had not received prior biologic therapy. Of the 299 patients included in the analysis, the proportions of pati...

Keywords: JAK, Upadacitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Risk for Lower Intestinal Perforations in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Tocilizumab in Comparison to Treatment with Other Biologic or Conventional Synthetic DMARDs

Strangfeld A, Richter A, Siegmund B, Herzer P, Rockwitz K, Demary W, Aringer M, Meißner Y, Zink A, Listing J.
Ann Rheum Dis 2016;0:1–7 DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209773.

This real-life study confirms findings from the tocilizumab (TCZ) clinical development program that IL-6 inhibition with TCZ may be associated with increased risk of lower intestinal perforation (LIP). Data were analysed from the RABBIT register of patients. The primary outcome was the incidence of LIPs in patients exposed to TCZ, csDMARDs, TNFis, abatacept, or rituximab. Thirty-seven LIPs were observed in 53,972 patient years. The proportion of patients who developed a LIP was higher in pat...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Real World, Gastrointestinal

July 16

Switching from Adalimumab to Tofacitinib in the Treatment of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Genovese, et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2016. DOI 10.1186/s13075-016-1049-3 [Epub ahead of print]

Results are reported from an analysis exploring the safety and efficacy of open-label tofacitinib (TOF) following blinded treatment with TOF or adalimumab (ADA) in patients with moderate to severe RA. The analysis included patients from ORAL Sequel, an open-label long-term extension study, which all patients entered following ORAL Standard (one of the studies in the TOF phase 3 program). Only those patients who had been randomized to ADA 40 mg Q2W + MTX or 10 mg TOF + MTX in ORAL Standard were...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World

Efficacy and safety of the oral Janus kinase inhibitor peficitinib (ASP015K) monotherapy in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in Japan: a 12-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase IIb study

Takeuchi et al.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 Jun;75:1057-64. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208279. Epub 2015 Dec 15

Peficitinib (ASP015K) is a novel orally bioavailable JAK inhibitor in development for the treatment of RA. It inhibits JAK1, JAK2, JAK3 and Tyk2 enzyme activities and has moderate selectivity or JAK3 inhibition. Here the authors report the findings of a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase IIb study evaluating efficacy, safety and dose response of peficitinib (25, 50, 100, or 150 mg) as once-daily oral monotherapy in Japanese patients with moderate to severe RA. The prim...

Keywords: JAK, Peficitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Two-year Efficacy of Tocilizumab in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis in Clinical Practice

Notario Ferreira, Ferrer González MA, Morales Garrido P, et al.
Reumatol Clin. 2016; May 10 doi: 10.1016/j.reuma.2016.03.014 [Epub ahead of print]

The efficacy and safety of tocilizumab has been studied in several randomized clinical trials (RCTs) but due to the strict inclusion and exclusion criteria of RCTs, real-life observational studies are needed to supplement the findings from these trials. This small longitudinal, open-label study from an outpatient clinic in Spain evaluated the effectiveness, survival rate and reasons for treatment discontinuations in 85 patients treated with tocilizumab over a 24-month period. The study also as...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Real World

Efficacy and Safety of Baricitinib in Japanese Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Receiving Background Methotrexate Therapy: A 12-week, Double-blind, Randomized Placebo-controlled Study

Tanaka Y, Emoto K, Cai Z, et al.
J Rheumatol. 2016;43(3):504–511.

Clinical trials have shown baricitinib once daily to be effective in patients with RA. However, this Janus kinase (JAK) 1/JAK2 inhibitor has not been evaluated in a Japanese population. In this 12-week, placebo-controlled study, 145 Japanese patients were enrolled and received placebo, 1 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg or 8 mg oral baricitinib daily. Efficacy results were encouraging and consistent with earlier trials. Significantly more baricitinib patients achieved ACR20 response at Week 12 of treatment compa...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

May 16

The Efficacy and Safety of Clazakizumab, an Anti-Interleukin-6 Monoclonal Antibody, in a Phase 2b Study of Adults with Active Psoriatic Arthritis

Mease et al.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Mar 24. DOI 10.1002/art.39700 [Epub ahead of print]

Encouraging results have been seen with clazakizumab in RA, but the results of anti-IL6 therapy in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have so far been unclear. This Phase 2b dose-ranging study examined the efficacy and safety of clazakizumab given subcutaneously q4w, with or without MTX, in 165 patients with PsA who had inadequate response to NSAIDs. ACR20 response at Week 16, the primary endpoint, was significantly higher in patients receiving clazakizumab 100 mg compared with placebo (52...

Keywords: IL-6, Clazakizumab, Clinical, Phase 2

Initial Experience with Tofacitinib in Clinical Practice: Treatment Patterns and Costs of Tofacitinib Administered as Monotherapy or in Combination with Conventional Synthetic DMARDs in 2 US Health Care Claims Databases

Harnett et al.
Clin Ther. 2016 Mar 28. doi: 10.1116/j.clinthera. 2016.03.038 [Epub ahead of print]

This study analyzes data from two US claims databases between November 2012 and June 2014. It was designed to build upon knowledge from tofacitinib Phase 3 clinical trials providing clinical insights from independent sources on treatment patterns and costs for tofacitinib. Data were collected from 337 patients in the Truven Marketscan (TM) and 118 patients in the Optum Clinformatics (OC) databases. In this early experience cohort for tofacitinib, approximately 75% of patients had previously re...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Value

Real-world Comparative Risks of Herpes Virus Infections in Tofacitinib and Biologic-treated Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Curtis et al.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 Apr 25;0:1–5 doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209131

Herpes Zoster (HZ) complications can cause considerable morbidity including debilitating pain syndromes. Clinical trials of tofacitinib have suggested it may increase the risk of HZ. Although unclear, the mechanism may involve reduced CD4 T-cell function and interference of interferon signalling. Following approval of tofacitinib in the US in 2012, real-world data from Medicare (2006–2013) and from the US longitudinal database, Marketscan, (2010–2014) were analysed. A total of 252...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Infections

Extended-release once-daily formulation of tofacitinib: evaluation of pharmacokinetics compared with immediate-release tofacitinib and impact of food

Lamba et al.
J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Mar 11. doi: 10.1002/jcph.734. [Epub ahead of print]

PK profile of TOF is rapid absorption and elimination with time to max concentration 0.5-1 hour and terminal half-life at 3 hours. It is currently approved for immediate release (IR) 5 mg BID, 10 mg total; however, decreasing the dosage to QD dosing may help increase compliance. This study performed in 24 healthy males compared the PK of XR and IR TOF under both single and multiple dose conditions and evaluated the effect of a high-fat meal on the PK of XR TOF. There were no clinically importa...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, PK-PD

Baricitinib in Patients with Refractory Rheumatoid Arthritis

Genovese et al.
N Engl J Med. 2016 Mar 31;374(13):1243-52. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1507247

For patients who have an inadequate response or unacceptable side effects associated with biologic DMARDs, the options for treatment beyond conventional DMARDs are limited. This phase 3 trial of the JAK 1/2 inhibitor, baricitinib, studied its efficacy in bDMARD-IR patients. 527 patients were randomized to either baricitinib 2mg, 4mg or placebo for up to 24 weeks. At week 12 the primary endpoints were tested hierarchically to control type 1 error; these endpoints were ACR20, HAQ-DI score, DAS28...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

March 16

Tofacitinib or adalimumab versus placebo: patient-reported outcomes from a phase 3 study of active rheumatoid arthritis

Strand V, van Vollenhoven R, Bong Lee E et al.
Strand et al. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Feb 29. doi:pii: kev442. [Epub ahead of print]

RA not only affects the physical aspects of a patient’s health but also has an impact on the psychological well-being causing a significant disease burden. This paper reports on the patient-reported outcomes (PROs) from the ORAL Standard study. This study investigated tofacitinib 5mg BID, 10mg BID, adalimumab vs. placebo over 12 months with a primary endpoint at month 3. All treatment groups showed significant improvements over placebo in HAQ-DI, PtGA and Pain with LSM changes in baselin...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Clinical Relevance of VPAC1 Receptor Expression in Early Arthritis: Association with IL-6 and Disease Activity

Seoane I, Ortiz A, Piris L et al.
 PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149141. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0149141

VPAC1 and VPAC2 both mediate anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory responses in RA. Both these are receptors of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), a broadly distributed peptide found in neural, endocrine and immune cells, which triggers biological response when interacting with the aforementioned receptors. It has recently been described in Martinez et al. that those patients with low levels of VIP have worse disease outcome.1 This study analyzed 250 blood samples from the Princesa early Art...

Keywords: IL-6, Preclinical

Comparative effects of biologics on cardiovascular risk among older patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Zhang et al.
Ann Rheum Dis 2016;0:1–6 doi:10.1136/ annrheumdis-2015-207870 [Epub ahead of print]

Since RA patients are at an increased risk of a CV event, there have been several studies to determine if RA treatments alter this risk. In a retrospective study, Zhang and colleagues assess the risk of CV events in patients initiating bDMARDs. Using Medicare medical and pharmacy claims data, the incidence rate (IR) of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and of a composite CHD* was calculated across RA patients initiating 8 different biologics: ABA, ADA, CER, ETA, GOL, INF, RIT, and TOC. There we...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Real World, Cardiovascular

Pregnancy outcome after tocilizumab therapy in early pregnancy – a case series from the German Embryotox Pharmacovigilance Center

Weber-Schoendorfer et al.
Reproductive Toxicology doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2016.01.002

MTX users have an increased incidence of spontaneous abortions (SABs) compared to baseline risk (42.5%1 vs. 13-17%2). Tocilizumab (TCZ) has been shown to have similar efficacy with or without MTX. There is currently limited data on the effect of TCZ on pregnancy, but with more safety data, TCZ could be an alternative for RA patients of reproductive age. The patients were enrolled at Embryotox Berlin, a pharmacovigilance center providing risk assessment during pregnancy, between 2011 and 2014 d...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Real World, Safety

Comparison of adding tocilizumab to methotrexate with switching to tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with inadequate response to methotrexate: 52-week results from a prospective, randomised, controlled study (SURPIRSE study)

Kaneko et al.
Ann Rheum Dis 2016 Jan 5 DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208426 [Epub ahead of print

MTX is the primary drug in RA management because of its long-term effectiveness and safety profile; however, in patients who have insufficient response (IR) to MTX, treatment adjustments are needed – either to combine a bDMARD with MTX or to switch to a bDMARD from MTX. In the SURPRISE study, the efficacy and safety of adding TCZ to MTX (ADD-ON) or switching MTX to TCZ (SWITCH) was evaluated in 233 patients with moderate to highly active RA who were randomised 1:1. Both treatment groups we...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Phase 3

Early changes in blood-based joint tissue destruction biomarkers are predictive of response to tocilizumab in the LITHE study

Bay-Jensen A, Platt A, Siebuhr A, Christiansen C, Byrjalsen I, Karsdal M.
Arthritis Research & Therapy (2016) 18:13 DOI: 10.1186/s13075-015-0913-x

One of the major challenges of RA treatment is choosing the correct treatment and dose for the individual patient, as treatment response can be heterogeneous. To help select the appropriate treatment, there is a need for effective and non-invasive ways to monitor disease activity and progression. In the LITHE study, Bay-Jensen et al. investigate whether early biomarker measurements could predict early joint protection response to TCZ. The biomarkers (CRPM, VICM, C1M, C2M, C3M, and CTX-I/OC [bone...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical

January 16

Systematic review and meta-analysis of serious infections with tofacitinib and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug treatment in rheumatoid arthritis clinical trials

Strand V, Ahadieh S, French J, Geier J, Krishnaswami S, Menon S, Checchio T, Tensfeldt TG, Hoffman E, Riese R, Boy M, Gomez-Reino JJ.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 Dec 15;17(1):362

Tofacitinib is an oral Janus kinase inhibitor for the treatment of RA. By modulating the signalling of cytokines that are integral to lymphocyte activation, proliferation, and function, tofacitinib may suppress multiple elements of immune response. A systematic literature search including all biologics and tofacitinib procured 66 RCTs and 22 LTEs that were included in a meta-analysis to provide estimated incidence rates, risk ratios, and risk differences of serious infection for each therapy. ...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Infections

VX-509 (Decernotinib), an Oral Selective JAK-3 Inhibitor, in Combination With Methotrexate in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Genovese MC, van Vollenhoven RF, Pacheco-Tena C, Zhang Y, Kinnman N.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Jan;68(1):46-55.

VX-509 (decernotinib) is a novel oral, selective inhibitor of JAK-3. JAK-3 is a member of the JAK signalling family that is primarily expressed in hematopoietic cells and associates with only the common γ-chain making it a promising therapeutic drug target. A phase IIb 24-week study of VX-509 in 358 patients with RA, who had prior inadequate response to MTX, uses ACR20 response rate and DAS28-CRP change at Week 12 to assess the efficacy of VX-509. Patients were administered either placebo+...

Keywords: JAK, Decernotinib, Clinical, Phase 2

December 15

Comparison of lipid and lipid-associated cardiovascular risk marker changes after treatment with tocilizumab or adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Gabay C, McInnes IB, Kavanaugh A, Tuckwell K, Klearman M, Pulley J, Sattar N.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;0:1-7. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207872 [Epub ahead of print]

RA patients have increased risk of CVD compared with the general population that is not fully explained by traditional risk factors. This is a post-hoc analysis of data from a clinical trial that compared IL-6 and TNF-α signaling inhibition to compare changes in lipids and lipid-associated CV risk markers in 324 patients treated with TCZ IV q4w or ADA SC q2w for 24 weeks. HDL-SAA and sPLA2 IIA is also measured in an additional subpopulation of 87 and 97 TCZ and ADA patients, respectively. ...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Cardiovascular

Incidence and complications of interstitial lung disease in users of tocilizumab, rituximab, abatacept and anti-tumor necrosis factor α agents, a retrospective cohort study

Curtis JR, Sarsour K, Napalkov P, Costa LA, and Schulman KL.
Arthritis Research & Therapy (2015) 17:319 DOI: 10.1186/s13075-015-0835-7

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a common extra-articular condition for RA patients. This retrospective cohort study of health insurance databases investigates the ILD incidence and exacerbation between ABA, TCZ, RTX, and anti-TNFα agents in adult RA patients with prior biologic therapy. Two definitions of ILD were used: one specific, one sensitive; descriptive results were produced for both. In patients with no history of ILD, the overall incidence rate of ILD ranged from 1.8% to 6.4%...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Real World, Infections

Effects of tofacitinib monotherapy on patient-reported outcomes in a randomized phase 3 study of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and inadequate responses to DMARDs

Strand V, Kremer J, Wallenstein G, Kanik KS, Connell C, Gruben D, Zwillich SH, Fleischmann R.
Arthritis Research & Therapy (2015) 17:307 DOI: 10.1186/s13075-015-0825-9 [Epub ahead of print]

RA presents a significant health and socioeconomic burden particularly in physical functioning, fatigue, and emotional roles. A phase III 6-month study of tofacitinib in patients with active RA, who had prior inadequate responses to cDMARDs or bDMARDs, uses patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to assess the impact on quality of life. Patients were randomized 4:4:1:1 to receive tofacitinib 5 or 10 mg BID, or placebo for 3 months followed by tofacitinib 5 or 10 mg BID. At month 3, tofacitinib 5 and ...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

October 15

Tofacitinib regulates synovial inflammation in psoriatic arthritis, inhibiting STAT activation and induction of negative feedback inhibition

W Gao, T McGarry, C Orr, J McCormick, D J Veale, U Fearon.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2015 Sep 9. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-207201

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis (Ps) and characterised by synovitis and progressive destruction of articular cartilage and bone. Recently developed agents for PsA target IL12p40, IL-6 and IL-17, several of which signal through the JAK family of receptor-associated tyrosine kinases. Tofacitinib is a drug of the JAK inhibitor class and is currently approved for the treatment of RA in 27 countries. This study evaluated the effect of tofacitini...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

Effectiveness of tocilizumab with and without synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis: results from a European collaborative study

C Gabay, M Riek, ML Hetland, EM Hauge, K Pavelka, M Tomšič, H Canhao, K Chatzdionysiou, G Lukina, DC Nordström, E Lie, I Ancuta, MV Hernández, PLMC van Riel, R van Vollenhoven, TK Kvien.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Sep 15. doi:10.1136/ annrheumdis-2015-207760

Biological DMARDs have markedly changed the management and outcome of rheumatoid arthritis. Most international guidelines recommend the use of biological DMARDs in combination with MTX or other synthetic DMARDs (sDMARDs) (where MTX is not tolerated or contraindicated), based primarily on the observation that MTX enhances the efficacy of TNF antagonists in both clinical trials and observational studies. This study examined the effectiveness of tocilizumab (TCZ), an anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody,...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Efficacy

Efficacy and safety of olokizumab in Asian patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, previously exposed to anti-TNF therapy: Results from a randomized phase II trial

Takeuchi T, Tanaka Y, Yamanaka H, Amano K, Nagamine R, Park W, Shiozawa K, Tsukano M, Wei J, Shao J, Togo O, Mashimo H.
Modern Rheumatology. 2015 Sep 10:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

This Phase II study assessed the safety and efficacy of olokizumab in Asian patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, previously exposed to anti-TNF therapy. After 12 weeks of treatment, olokizumab was found to rapidly improve disease activity in patients who had previously failed anti-TNF therapy. There was also a significant decrease in ACR20 and ACR50 responder rates at week 12. The safety findings were consistent with the safety profile expected for this drug class. These findin...

Keywords: IL-6, Olokizumab, Clinical, Phase 2

Cost-effectiveness of Tofacitinib in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis in South Korea

Min-Young Lee, Sun-Kyeong Park, Sun-Young Park, Ji-Hye Byun, Sang-Min Lee, Su-Kyoung Ko, and Eui-Kyung Lee.
Clinical Therapeutics. 2015:37(8). [Epub ahead of print]

This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of introducing tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, to the treatment of Korean patients with RA and an inadequate response to conventional DMARDs. The model showed that the inclusion of tofacitinib as a treatment strategy for moderate to severe RA is cost-effective; this conclusion was considered robust based on multiple sensitivity analyses. First-line tofacitinib used before the standard of care (base-case analysis) increased both treatment...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Value

Comparison of the efficacies of abatacept and tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by propensity score matching

Kubo S, Nakayamada S, Nakano K, Hirata S, Fukuyo S, Miyagawa I, Hanami K, Saito K, Tanaka Y.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2015 Aug 5. doi:pii: annrheumdis-2015-207784. 10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207784. [Epub ahead of print]

This study compared the clinical outcomes at one year after the treatment either abatacept or tocilizumab in routine clinical practice. This study employed propensity score matching and demonstrated that abatacept and tocilizumab had comparable continuing efficacies, and that treatment with the drugs resulted in comparable clinical and functional remission rates. Additionally, abatacept and tocilizumab showed similar effectiveness with or without MTX. While clinical efficacies, including SDAI,...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Efficacy

Calprotectin more accurately discriminates the disease status of rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving tocilizumab than acute phase reactants

José Inciarte-Mundo, Virginia Ruiz-Esquide, Maria Victoria Hernández, Juan D Cañete, Sonia Raquel Cabrera-Villalba, Julio Ramirez, Jordi Yagüe and Raimon Sanmarti.
Rheumatology. 2015 Aug 4. doi:pii: kev251. [Epub ahead of print]

Calprotectin is a member of the S100 protein family that has strong pro-inflammatory effects that reflect local ongoing inflammation rather than systemic response, due to its release at local inflammation sites. High calprotectin levels have been found in SF and serum from RA patients and correlate with disease activity. This study analysed the accuracy of calprotectin compared to acute phase response in discriminating the clinical disease status of RA patients receiving TCZ. A clinical assessme...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Preclinical, MOA

Efficacy and safety of tofacitinib following inadequate response to conventional synthetic or biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Charles-Schoeman C, Burmester G, Nash P, Zerbini CA, Soma K, Kwok K, Hendrikx T, Bananis E, Fleischmann R.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2015 Aug 14. doi:pii: annrheumdis-2014-207178.

This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, in patients with inadequate response to sDMARDs or bDMARDs. Findings from this study show both doses of tofacitinib were associated with improvements in efficacy parameters at month 3 versus placebo, and clinical response was numerically greater with bDMARD-naïve versus bDMARD-IR patients (95% CI overlapping). Safety parameters were generally similar; however, patients receiving glucocorticoids had ...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

September 15

Efficacy and safety of tofacitinib as monotherapy in Japanese patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: a 12-week, randomized, phase 2 study

Tanaka Y, Takeuchi T, Yamanaka H, Nakamura H, Toyoizumi S, Zwillich S.
Modern Rheumatology. 2015 Jul;25(4):514-21. doi: 10.3109/14397595.2014.995875.

The oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, Tofacitinib, preferentially inhibits signalling by heterodimeric receptors associated with JAK3 and/or JAK1, blocking signalling for several cytokines. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of tofacitinib monotherapy versus placebo in Japanese patients with inadequate response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Data on response rates – ACR20/50/70, DAS28-4(ESR), and HAQ-DI – laboratory parameters and adverse eve...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

The Efficacy and Safety of Subcutaneous Clazakizumab in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inadequate Response to Methotrexate: Results from a Phase IIb, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo/Active-Controlled, Dose-Ranging, Multinational Study

Weinblatt ME, Mease P, Mysler E, Takeuchi T, Drescher E, Berman A, Xing J, Zilberstein M, Banerjee S, Emery P.
Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2015 Jul 2. doi: 10.1002/art.39249. [Epub ahead of print]

The humanised monoclonal antibody, Clazakizumab (CLZ), binds to circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine rather than the IL-6 receptor, blocking both classical and trans-signalling. The purpose of this phase 2B study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of clazakizumab in patients with inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX). Data on selected response rates – ACR20/50/70, DAS28-CRP, SDAI ≤3.3, CDAI ≤2.8 and the ACR/EULAR Boolean definition – and adverse events were collec...

Keywords: IL-6, Clazakizumab, Clinical, Phase 2

July 15

Long-term Safety of Tocilizumab: Results from 3 Years of Followup Postmarketing Surveillance of 5573 Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Japan

Kazuhiko Yamamoto, Hajime Goto, Kenzo Hirao, Atsuo Nakajima, Hideki Origasa, Kunihiko Tanaka, Minako Tomobe and Kyoichi Totsuka.
The Journal of Rheumatology. 1 June 2015 DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.141210 [Epub ahead of print]

The humanised anti-interleukin 6 receptor monoclonal antibody tocilizumab (TCZ) has been available in clinical practice for several years. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety of for the treatment of RA in a real-world clinical setting as a long-term extension of a single-arm, observational post marketing surveillance study. Data on selected adverse events (AEs) - fatal events, serious infection, malignancy, GI perforation, and serious cardiac dysfunction - were collect...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Safety

Tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis: results from two, randomised, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 trials

Papp KA, Menter MA, Abe M, Elewski B, Feldman SR, Gottlieb AB, Langley R, Luger T, Thaci D, Buonanno M, Gupta P, Proulx J, Lan S, Wolk R, OPT Pivotal 1 and OPT Pivotal 2 Investigators.
British Journal of Dermatology. 7 July 2015 DOI: 10.1111/bjd.14018. [Epub ahead of print]

The management of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis has benefited from the introduction of biological therapies, but unmet needs still remain, especially for oral therapies. Tofacitinib is an orally active agent that blocks signalling of key cytokines implicated in the immune response and inflammatory pathways of psoriasis. The Phase III studies presented in this paper analysed efficacy and safety endpoints. Both studies demonstrated that tofacitinib in both 5 mg and 10 mg twice daily...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Efficacy and safety of subcutaneous tocilizumab versus intravenous tocilizumab in combination with traditional DMARDs in patients with RA at week 97 (SUMMACTA)

Gerd R Burmester, Andrea Rubbert-Roth, Alain Cantagrel, Stephen Hall, Piotr Leszczynski, Daniel Feldman, Madura J Rangaraj, Georgia Roane, Charles Ludivico, Min Bao, Lucy Rowell, Claire Davies, Eduardo F Mysler.
Ann Rheum Dis. 10 May 2015 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207281 [Epub ahead of print]

Tocilizumab (TCZ) has demonstrated efficacy and a well-established safety profile for intravenous (IV) administration. The Phase III SUMMACTA study evaluated the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous tocilizumab (TCZ-SC) in combination with DMARDS in patients with moderate-to-severe RA and inadequate response to ≥1 DMARD. Patients were randomised to receive TCZ-SC 162 mg weekly or TCZ-IV 8 mg/kg q4w in combination with DMARDs. After a 24-week double-blind period, patients receiving TCZ-SC were ...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Phase 3

June 15

TNF-α and IL-6 differentially regulate Dkk-1 in the inflamed arthritic joint

Yeremenko N, Zwerina K, Rigter G, Pots D, Fonseca J, Zwerina J, Schett G, Baeten D.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 May 4. doi: 10.1002/art.39183. [Epub ahead of print]

Different inflammatory joint diseases have distinct patterns of bone damage, but the molecular pathways determining each one remains poorly defined. This study investigates the wingless (Wnt)-signalling pathway, by analysing the expression of Dkk-1 (an inhibitor of the Wnt pathway) and its regulation by the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in SpA versus RA inflamed peripheral joints. Findings from the study show an inverse correlation of Dkk-1 with IL-6 in vivo and a differential...

Keywords: IL-6, Preclinical, MOA

The preclinical pharmacology of the high affinity anti-IL-6R Nanobody® ALX-0061 supports its clinical development in rheumatoid arthritis

Van Roy M, Ververken C, Beirnaert E Hoefman S, Kolkman J Vierboom M, Breedveld E, 't Hart B, Poelmans S, Bontinck L, Hemeryck A, Jacobs S, Baumeister J, Ulrichts H.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 May 20;17(1):135. [Epub ahead of print]

Over the last decade, there has been a shift in treatment outcomes for RA; moving from symptom control to achieving remission. The TNF inhibitors have revolutionised treatment in this way, yet there is still a proportion of patients who fail to improve or reach remission. As such, new molecules for the treatment of RA are needed to be developed. This study investigates the in vitro and in vivo properties of ALX-0061, a bispecific Nanobody with a high affinity and potency for IL-6R. Positive ph...

Keywords: IL-6, Preclinical, PK-PD

May 15

Differential Effects of IL-17A and TNF-α on Osteoblastic Differentiation of Isolated Synoviocytes and on Bone Explants from Arthritis Patients

Osta B, Roux JP, Lavocat F, Pierre M, Ndongo-Thiam N, Boivin G, Miossec P.
Frontiers in Immunology. 2015;6:151. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00151

Inflammatory joint diseases such as RA and OA are characterised by bone and consequent joint destruction. The role of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) in the pathogenesis of such diseases is already established. This study compared the effects of TNF-α and IL-17A on osteogenic differentiation of isolated FLS and on whole bone explants from 3 RA and 10 OA patients. Results showed that isolated RA-FLS appeared more sensitive to the effects of TNF-α and IL-17A compared to OA-FLS. The...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical

Evaluation of the effect of tofacitinib on measured glomerular filtration rate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: results from a randomised controlled trial

Kremer JM, Kivitz AJ, Simon-Campos JA, Nasonov EL, Tony HP, Lee SK, Vlahos B, Hammond C, Bukowski J, Li H, Schulman SL, Raber S, Zuckerman A, Isaacs JD.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 Apr 6;17(1):95.

Mean increases from baseline in patient serum creatinine (SCr) levels have been observed in the clinical development programme for the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib. These increases predominantly occurred within the first three months, and reversed with tofacitinib withdrawal. This phase 1, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, 2-period study assessed changes in measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) with tofacitinib, relative to placebo, in 148 patients with active RA. Results sh...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

Tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor: analysis of malignancies across the rheumatoid arthritis clinical development programme

Curtis JR, Lee EB, Kaplan IV, Kwok K, Geier J, Benda B, Soma K, Wang L, Riese R.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Apr 22. pii: annrheumdis-2014-205847. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205847. [Epub ahead of print]

The developments of certain malignancies associated with chronic inflammatory diseases such as RA is known to occur to a greater extent than that of the general population. It is also know that certain RA treatments can affect malignancy rates. As such, newer immunomodulatory agents, such as the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib, are closely monitored for safety events of special interest, including malignancies. This paper analyses pooled malignancy data from the tofacitinib RA clinical development...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Malignancy

April 15

Super-enhancers delineate disease-associated regulatory nodes in T cells

Vahedi G, Kanno Y, Furumoto Y, Jiang K, Parker SC, Erdos MR, Davis SR, Roychoudhuri R, Restifo NP, Gadina M, Tang Z, Ruan Y, Collins FS, Sartorelli V, O'Shea JJ.
Nature. 2015 Feb 16. doi: 10.1038/nature14154. [Epub ahead of print]

Transcription machinery (proteins responsible for activating or ‘switching off’ genes) is not distributed in the genome in a symmetrical (or even) manner. Some parts of the genome, so called super-enhancers (SEs), accumulate an exceptionally high level of proteins relevant to the regulation of transcription (i.e. the machinery is concentrated in particular parts of the genome). In this paper, the investigators asked about the locale of these regions in the genome of T cells. Then th...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Sarilumab plus methotrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and inadequate response to methotrexate: Results of a phase III study

Genovese MC, Fleischmann R, Kivitz A et al.
Arthritis Rheumatol. Vol. 67, No. 6, June 2015, pp 1424–1437

Biologic DMARDs targeting TNF-alpha, IL-1, T-cell co-stimulatory blockade, B-cell depletion, and IL-6R, as well as the newer JAK inhibitors have greatly improved clinical outcomes in RA. However, not all patients respond to current biologic or small molecule DMARDs. Sarilumab is a fully human anti-IL-6Rα mAb that binds membrane-bound and soluble human IL-6R with high affinity, blocking cis and trans IL-6-mediated signalling. This study (MOBILITY) is the first randomised, double-blind,...

Keywords: IL-6, Sarilumab, Clinical, Phase 3

The effect of tofacitinib on pneumococcal and influenza vaccine responses in rheumatoid arthritis

Winthrop KL, Silverfield J, Racewicz A, Neal J, Lee EB, Hrycaj P, Gomez-Reino J, Soma K, Mebus C, Wilkinson B, Hodge J, Fan H, Wang T, Bingham CO 3rd.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Mar 20. pii: annrheumdis-2014-207191. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-207191. [Epub ahead of print]

The increased risk of serious infection among RA patients means vaccinations against pneumococcus and influenza are recommended in this group of patients. Studies evaluating immune response to these vaccines in conjunction with DMARD therapy can provide clinicians with important information relating to things such as timing of vaccination. This study aimed to assess the effect of tofacitinib on vaccine responses to PPSV-23 and the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine in those whom tofacitinib...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Safety

March 15

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Twelve-Week, Dose-Ranging Study of Decernotinib, an Oral Selective JAK-3 Inhibitor, as Monotherapy in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis

Fleischmann RM, Damjanov NS, Kivitz AJ, et al.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(2):334–343.

Decernotinib (VX-509; Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated) is a JAK 3 inhibitor currently under investigation for its potential use in the treatment of RA. The potency and selectivity profiles of this oral compound have already been established in previous trials, so this study aimed to establish the efficacy and safety profiles of the drug, in RA patients who have had an inadequate response to at least one DMARD. Four doses; 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg and 150 mg, were evaluated in this placebo-contr...

Keywords: JAK, Decernotinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Filgotinib (GLPG0634), a Selective JAK1 Inhibitor, in Support of Phase IIB Dose Selection

Namour F, Diderichsen PM, Cox E, Vayssière B, Van der Aa A, Tasset C, Van't Klooster G.
Clin Pharmacokinet. 2015 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Filgotinib (GLPG0634) is a selective inhibitor of JAK1 currently in development for the treatment of RA and Crohn’s disease. This paper describes the pharmacokinetics of filgotinib and its active metabolite, as well as the PK/PD modelling to support dose selection for phase IIB. Two phase I, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in healthy volunteers and one phase IIa proof-of-concept study in RA patients were used to evaluate single and multiple doses of filgotinib. Resul...

Keywords: JAK, Filgotinib, Preclinical, PK-PD

A small-molecule inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome for the treatment of inflammatory diseases

Coll RC, Robertson AA, Chae JJ, et al.
Nat Med. 2015 Feb 16. doi: 10.1038/nm.3806. [Epub ahead of print]

A team of scientists at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Queensland Australia, led by Professor Luke O'Neill, have identified a key molecule that may result in the development of new anti-inflammatory therapies for diseases such as: cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS), multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis. Professor O'Neill and his team have identified MCC950 as a potent, selective, small-molecule inhibitor of the ...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

January 15

Potential Mechanisms Leading to the Abnormal Lipid Profile in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Versus Healthy Volunteers and Reversal by Tofacitinib

Charles-Schoeman C, Fleischmann R, Davignon J, Schwartz H, Turner S, Beysen C, Milad M, Hellerstein M, Luo Z, Kaplan I, Riese R, Zuckerman A, McInnes IB.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(3):616-25.

Active RA is associated with changes in both high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol as well as changes in the level and function of several HDL-associated proteins, yet the pathways and mechanisms involved with systemic inflammation altered lipid metabolism have not been determined. In addition, treatments for active RA are known to modify lipid metabolism, such as increasing circulating cholesterol levels. In the clinical development programme, a proportion of tofacitinib-treated patien...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Efficacy and Safety of Tofacitinib as Monotherapy in Japanese Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: A 12-Week, Randomized, Phase 2 Study

Tanaka Y, Takeuchi T, Yamanaka H, Nakamura H, Toyoizumi S, Zwillich S.
Mod Rheumatol. 2014 Dec 11:1–25. [Epub ahead of print]

In Japan, the biologic DMARDs infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, golimumab and certolizumab pegol, as well as tocilizumab and abatacept are approved for use in patients with active RA and an inadequate response to existing therapies. However, not all patients respond to these therapies adequately, creating an unmet need for therapeutic options with alternative mechanisms of action. The oral JAK inhibitor tofacitinib has demonstrated efficacy as monotherapy or in combination with DMARDs for th...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of baricitinib, an oral JAK 1/2 inhibitor, in healthy volunteers

Shi JG, Chen X, Lee F, Emm T, Scherle PA, Lo Y, Punwani N, Williams WV, Yeleswaram S.
Mod J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Dec;54(12):1354-61. doi: 10.1002/jcph.354.

Current biologic therapies for RA, such as biologic cytokine inhibitors, which selectively target inflammatory molecules with an exquisite degree of specificity, are not clinically effective in all patients with rheumatoid arthritis. As such, there remains an unmet clinical need for more effective and better tolerated therapies. Baricitinib (LY3009104, also previously known as INCB028050) is a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of JAK1/2, which play an important role in cytokine signa...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Preclinical, PK-PD

IL-6 stimulates intestinal epithelial proliferation and repair after injury

Kuhn KA, Manieri NA, Liu TC, Stappenbeck TS.
PLoS One. 2014 Dec 5;9(12):e114195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114195. eCollection 2014.

IL-6 is an inflammatory cytokine known to contribute to a number of autoimmune diseases such as RA. Therapies targeting the soluble IL-6 receptor have now become effective treatments for RA. However, one unforeseen, yet rare, potential complication of anti-IL-6 therapy is bowel perforation. Yet within the intestine, IL-6 protects intestinal epithelial cells from apoptosis during prolonged inflammation. The authors hypothesized that IL-6 may have beneficial properties in wound response/repair, s...

Keywords: IL-6, Preclinical, MOA

December 14

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

Keystone EC, Taylor PC, Drescher E, Schlichting DE, Beattie SD, Berclaz PY, Lee CH, Fidelus-Gort RK, Luchi ME, Rooney TP, Macias WL, Genovese MC.
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 baricitinib, fo...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

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

Isomäki P, Junttila I, Vidqvist KL, Korpela M, Silvennoinen O.
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 ...

Keywords: JAK, Preclinical, MOA

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

Boyle DL, Soma K, Hodge J, Kavanaugh A, Mandel D, Mease P, Shurmur R, Singhal AK, Wei N, Rosengren S, Kaplan I, Krishnaswami S, Luo Z, Bradley J, Firestein GS.
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. A...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

Lipid profile changes in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis treated with biologics and tofacitinib in randomized clinical trials: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Souto A, Salgado E, Maneiro JR, Mera A, Carmona L, Gómez-Reino JJ.
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 search ...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Cardiovascular

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

Rao VU, Pavlov A, Klearman M, Musselman D, Giles JT, Bathon JM, Sattar N, Lee JS.
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...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Cardiovascular

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

Fischer JA, Hueber AJ, Wilson S, Galm M, Baum W, Kitson C, Auer J, Lorenz S, Moelleken J, Bader M, Tissot AC, Tan SL, Seeber S, Schett G.
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 foc...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

October 14

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

Strand V, Burmester GR, Zerbini CA, Mebus CA, Zwillich SH, Gruben D, Wallenstein GV.
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 pla...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, PRO

September 14

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

Platt AM, Benson RA, McQueenie R, et al.
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 fostamatinib, ...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Secukinumab in Plaque Psoriasis — Results of Two Phase 3 Trials

Langley RG, Elewski BE, Lebwohl M, et al.
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 ...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Clinical, Phase 3

August 14

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

Isaacs JD, Zuckerman A, Krishnaswami S, et al.
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 studies a...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

Analysis of Infections and All-Cause Mortality in Phase II, III and Long-Term Extension Studies of Tofacitinib in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cohen S, Radominski SC, Gomez-Reino JJ, et al.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014;66(11):2924–2937

This study pools data from the global tofacitinib RA development programme (phase II, phase III and long-term extension studies) to determine the rate of infections and all-cause mortality with tofacitinib treatment. In total, 4,789 patients within these studies received tofacitinib, at varying doses and with varying duration. The overall incidence rate of serious infections was 3.09 events/100 patient-years (95% CI 2.73–3.49), which was stable over time, with pneumonia and skin and s...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Safety

July 14

Herpes Zoster and Tofacitinib Therapy in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Winthrop KL, Yamanaka H, Valdez H, et al.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]

It is well established that patients with RA are at an increased risk of herpes zoster (HZ). What is less well known is whether some of the newer therapies available for treatment of RA increase this risk. Tofacitinib has been reported to be associated with an increased risk of HZ and this study quantifies that risk and reviews potential factors that represent an increased risk. Using data from the tofacitinib RA development programme; phase 2, 3, and long-term extension clinical trials, over 20...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Infections

Nociceptive sensory neurons drive interleukin-23-mediated psoriasiform skin inflammation

Riol-Blanco L, Ordovas-Montanes J, Perro M, et al.
Nature. 2014;510(7503):157–161.

The abnormal activation of skin immune cells, such as dermal dendritic cells (DDCs) and interleukin (IL)-17-producing γδ T (γδT17) cells, by IL-23 is known to provoke psoriasis-type inflammation. What is less well known is how peripheral nerves regulate cutaneous immune responses. In this study, IL-23-dependent psoriasis-like inflammation was induced in mice to help determine the precise molecular mechanism of neuroimmune communication in the skin. Finding...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Tofacitinib Versus Methotrexate In Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lee EB, Fleischmann R, Hall S, et al.
N Engl J Med. 2014;370(25):2377–2386.

ORAL Start is the latest trial to be reported in the tofacitinib clinical development programme. It compares the use of tofacitinib monotherapy to MTX monotherapy, in RA patients who have had either no or a sub-therapeutic dose of MTX in the past. Nine hundred and fifty eight patients received either tofacitinib (5 mg or 10 mg) twice daily, or methotrexate at a dose that was incrementally increased to 20 mg per week over 8 weeks. The co primary efficacy endpoints were ACR 70 response, and mean c...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

June 14

Differential regulation of anti-inflammatory genes by p38 MAP kinase kinase 6

Hammaker D, Boyle DL, Topolewski K et al.
Journal of Inflammation 2014, 11:14

Several p38α inhibitors have been developed and evaluated in RA. However, despite pre-clinical data showing promise, the compounds have been shown to have little therapeutic efficacy. Previous studies have suggested this may be a result of inhibitors blocking the role of p38 in limiting inflammation. Previous studies by the same authors have shown that the targeting of MKK3 or MKK 6, which are the upstream activators of p38, may be superior to p38 blockade as the anti-inflammatory eff...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Alternative p38 MAPKs Are Essential for Collagen-Induced Arthritis

Criado G, Risco A, Alsina-Beauchamp D et al.
Arthritis and Rheumatology Vol66, No. 5, May2014 pp 1208-1217

MAPK family proteins are regulatory proteins, affecting processes such as synthesis and release of proinflammatory molecules which contribute to the pathogenesis of RA. In particular, the p38 MAPK protein family is central to proinflammatory cytokine production. There are four member of the p38 group; p38α, p38β, p38γ and p38δ. This study sought to evaluate p38γ and p38δ deficiency in mice CIA model. In p38γ-/- or p38&delt...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Mechanism of Activation of Protein Kinase JAK2 by the Growth Hormone Receptor

Brooks AJ, Dai W, O’Mara ML et al.
Science 344, 2014; doi: 10.1126/science.1249783

Class I cytokine receptors are key regulators of many processes within the body. The receptors use the JAK-STAT signalling pathway, the deregulation of which causes it to become an important pathway in oncogenesis. Despite this, the processes responsible for JAK2 activation by class I receptors remains elusive. Previous studies using growth hormone and its receptor have led to a model of receptor activation where hormone induced receptor dimerization resulted in close proximity of the receptor ...

Keywords: JAK, Preclinical, MOA

Structure of the pseudokinase-kinase domains from protein kinase TYK2 reveals a mechanism for Janus kinase (JAK) autoinhibition

Lupardus PJ, Ultsch M, Wallweber H et al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 19. pii: 201401180. [Epub ahead of print]

The JAK family of kinases (JAK1, JAK2, JAK3 and TYK2) are receptor-associated tyrosine kinases that act downstream of many cytokines and interferons. Recent studies have provided structural information about the kinase and pseudokinase domains of JAKs however the molecular mechanism by which JAK activity is regulated by the pseudokinase domain is poorly understood. This study builds on a recent finding that the N terminus of the JAK1 pseudokinase group may act as a switch for kinase activation ...

Keywords: JAK, Preclinical, MOA

Structural basis for the recognition of interferon-α receptor by tyrosine kinase 2

Wallweber HJA, Tam C, Franke Y et al.
Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2014 May;21(5):443-8. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2807. Epub 2014 Apr 6

Janus kinases, JAKs, are essential in the mediation of cytokine and interferon signalling whilst also being crucial to body processes such as immune function, hematopoeises, metabolism and cellular growth. However, it is not known is how the four members of the JAK family interact with and are activated by over 30 cytokine receptors with near perfect affinity and specificity. Currently, there are no crystal structures available for any JAK bound to a cytokine receptor. This study sought address...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

May 14

JAK2-STAT3 Blockade by AG490 Suppresses Autoimmune Arthritis in Mice via Reciprocal Regulation of Regulatory T cells and Th17 cells

Park JS, Lee J, Lim MA et al.
J Immunol 2014; 192:4417-4424

In this study, Park et al sought to investigate the effects of the JAK2 inhibitor, AG490 in RA. Using murine CIA models, both preventative and therapeutic models were investigated. In the preventative model, CIA mice treated with AG490 showed a significantly lower incidence rate of arthritis and arthritic scores when compared to mice injected with vehicle. In the therapeutic model, as in the preventative, AG490 treated mice exhibited less severe arthritis. Through further experiments, it was de...

Keywords: JAK, Preclinical, MOA

Safety and Efficacy of Tofacitinib, an Oral Janus Kinse Inhibitor, for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, in Open-Label Longterm Extension Studies

Wollenhaupt J, SIlverfield J, Lee Eb et al.
J Rheumatol 2014;41;837-852

This study pooled data from two LTE studies involving patients who had previously participated in qualifying phase I, II and III studies. Data up to 60 months was included for safety aspects and efficacy data up to 48 months. However data for 10 mg BID and tofacitinib monotherapy was limited after 24 and 36 months respectively. Over the two studies, 4102 patients were treated for a total of 5963 patient years. Herpes zoster, both serious and non-serious, had a higher incidence rate in tofacitini...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Blocking the janus-activated kinase pathway reduces tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced interlukin-18 bioactivity by caspase-1 inhibition

Marotte H, Tsou PS, Fedorova T et al.
Arthritis Research and Therapy 2014,16:R102

IL-18, a member of the IL-1 family, has been shown to play an important role in immune response and is involved in the pathogenesis of RA. The study objective was to examine the role of the JAK pathway in modulating TNFa-induced-IL18 bioactivity by reducing caspase-1 function. Caspase-1 is the protease that cleaves pro-IL-18 to IL-18, thereby activating it. In testing it was noted that by blocking the JAK pathway significantly decreased caspase-1 transcription, expression and activity showing th...

Keywords: JAK, Preclinical, MOA

Btk inhibition suppresses agonist-induced human macrophage activation and inflammatory gene expression in RA synovial tissue explants

Hartkamp LM, Fine JS, van Es IE et al.
Ann Rheum Dis Published Online First 24 April 2014 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204143

Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, a downstream target of PI3K signalling, has been shown to be crucial in the B lymphocyte and myeloid cell contribution to murine models of arthritis. Synovial tissue samples were taken from biologically naïve RA (n=16) and PsA (n=12) patients in order to assess the expression of BTK. Separate RA synovial explants (n=8) were used to assess the effects of the specific BTK inhibitor RN486. BTK was expressed at equivalent levels in both RA and PsA synovial tissu...

Keywords: BTK, Preclinical, MOA

14-3-3eta is a novel mediator associated with the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and joint damage

Maksymowych WP, van der Heijde D, Allaart CF et al.
Arthritis Research and Therapy 2014, 16:R99

A major clinical imperative among rheumatologists is the ability to class patients into risk categories for radiographic progression. Indeed, identification of new independent biomarkers predictive of RA disease progression is a key target from OMERACT. This study by Maksymowych et al. sought to clarify the role of 14-3-3? in RA and whether it provided any clinically and/or serologically important prognostic information. First described as being elevated in RA in 2007, 14-3-3? has a strong corre...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

April 14

Effects of Janus Kinase Inhibitor tofacitinib on circulating serum amyloid A and interlukin-6 during treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Migita K, Izumi Y, Jiuchi Y et al.
Clinical and Experimental Immunology doi.10.1111/cei.12234

Tofacitinib is a JAK inhibitor currently approved for the treatment of RA in some parts of the world. In this paper, Migita et al tested the effects of tofacitinib on circulating serum amyloid A (SAA). SAA is a major acute-phase reactant in RA and studies have shown it may be a better marker for the assessment of inflammatory joint disease compared with C-reactive protein. SAA is induced by the binding of IL-6 and the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway, which is inhibited by tofacitinib. Results...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

Hypoxia and STAT3 signalling interactions regulate pro-inflammatory pathways in rheumatoid arthritis

Gao W, McCormick J, Connolly M et al.
. ARD published online first 13 Feb 2014. Doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204105

Hypoxia is a key driving force in joint inflammation, however little is known about the effect it can have on JAK/STAT signalling in rheumatoid arthritis. Due to the development of JAK inhibitors as therapeutics it is important to understand any links there may be. Previous studies have shown that HIF1a, a protein associated with hypoxia, facilitates the binding of STAT3 to haptoglobin promoter in HepG2 human hepatoma cells. HIF1a also requires interaction of Notch signalling pathways with STAT3...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

March 14

Features of the synovium of individuals at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

de Hair MJH, van de Sande MGH, Ramwadhdoebe TH et al.
Arthritis and Rheumatology March 2014:66;513-522

This study expands on previous findings that synovial inflammation does not coincide with the appearance of rheumatoid arthritis. This was a markedly larger study compared to previous, with 55 individuals assessed. All 55 subjects were positive for IgM rheumatoid factor and/or anti-citrillinated protein antibody as well as possessing no physical evidence of arthritis. 15 of the individuals tested developed arthritis after a median time of 13 months. In these patients the presence of inflammatory...

Keywords: Preclinical, MOA

Emergence of proinflammaotry autoreactive T-cell responses in preclinical rheumatoid arthritis

Aslam A, Nam J, Hunt L et al.
The Lancet, Volume 383, Page S22, 26 February 2014

Before the onset of clinically apparent disease, the pathogenesis of RA goes through a number of sequential phases. The presence of autoimmunity through RF and ACPAs can be detected up to 13 years before the onset of clinical synovitis. An important component of the immune system is Treg cells which limit damage caused by excessive immune activity. These cells have been found to be dysfunctional in RA. This study aimed to identify autoreactive T cells to a known RA-associated antigen and determi...

Keywords: Preclinical, MOA

Inhibition of TAK1 and/or JAK can rescue impaired chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells in osteoarthritis-like conditions

Van Beuningen HM, de Vries-van Melle ML, Vitters El et al.
Tissue Engineering Part A doi:10/1089/ten.TEA.2013.0553

As it is nonvascularized and noninnervated, articular cartilage has a limited capacity to repair which presents a major clinical problem. In order to circumvent this inability to repair, stem cells can be placed into the joint or stimulated within the bone marrow. However, as the cartilage requiring repair is often in diseased joints, the factors involved in the disease state are potentially non-beneficial to the chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells. In this study van Beuningen et al. invest...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

February 14

The Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, and Clearance Mechanisms of Tofacitinib, a Janus Kinase Inhibitor, in Humans

Dowty ME, Lin J, Ryder TF et al.
DMD doi:10.1124/dmd.113.054940

The PK of tofacitinib has previously been described in several papers covering a range of diseases. This current study was used to better understand the PK, metabolism and clearance mechanisms of tofacitinib in healthy human subjects. Six subjects took a single 50mg dose of 14C-tofacitinib orally and consequently had urine, faeces and plasma collected. These were assayed for radioactivity and profiled for metabolites. Tofacitinib was found to be rapidly absorbed, with peak plasma concentration...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, PK-PD

Effects of tofacitinib on lymphocytes in rheumatoid arthritis: relation to efficacy and infectious adverse events

Sonomoto K, Yamaoka K, Kubo S et al.
Rheumatology doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket466

Due to its function as a JAK1/3 inhibitor, tofacitinib has effects on a wide ranging variety of cells. The authors of this paper have previously reported a suppression in cytokine production by CD4+ T lymphocytes caused by tofacitinib, while others have reported reduced chemokine production from fibroblast-like synoviocytes. The effects of tofacitinib on other cells however remain largely unknown. This study focused on tofacitinib’s effects on CD4+ T lymphocyte proliferation and on subsets...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

January 14

PI3K-δ and PI3K-γ inhibition by IPI-145 abrogates immune responses and suppresses activity in autoimmune and inflammatory disease models

Winkler DG, Faia KL, DiNitto JP et al.
Chemistry and Biology Nov 13 20, 1364-1374

Phosphoinositide-3 kinases (PI3K) are cell signalling proteins that act as a central node for relaying signals from cell surface receptors and downstream mediators. Specifically they phosphorylate phosphatidylinositol to phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3). This acts a docking site for signalling proteins, leading to the activation of downstream effectors such as BTK. Therefore, inhibition of the PI3K-d and PI3K-? isoforms (PI3K-a and PI3K-ß demonstrated embryonic lethality in ...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Selective inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) with a novel orally bioavailable small molecule inhibitor, RO9021, impinges on various innate and adaptive immune responses: implication for SYK inhibitors in autoimmune disease therapy

Liao C, Hsu J, Kim Y et al.
Arthritis Research and Therapy 2013 15:R146

Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) has already been described as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Previously the SYK inhibitor fostamatinib was in clinical development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, but has since been suspended. However, investigation into SYK inhibition continues with RO2091, a novel ATP-competitive inhibitor of SYK with reasonable selectivity, potency and oral bioavailability which has been shown to suppress various innate and adap...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, Selectivity

STA-21, a promising STAT3 inhibitor that reciprocally regulates Th17 and Treg, inhibits osteoclastgenesis and alleviates autoimmune inflammation

Park JS, Kwok SK, Lim MA et al.
Arthritis and Rheumatism doi: 10.1002/art.38305

STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) is the major transcription factor in the differentiation of Th17 cells, which along with IL-17 are significant in the development of RA. STA-21 is a new small molecule with significant inhibitory effects on STAT3, impeding DNA binding activity, dimerization and STAT3-dependent luciferase activity. While the effect of STA-21 in RA has not been fully determined, it has been hypothesised that STA-21 will suppress arthritis in animal models ...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

The orally available Btk inhibitor ibrutinib (PCI-32765) protects against osteoclast-mediated bone loss

Shinohara M, Chang BY, Buggy JJ et al.
Bone 2014;60:8-15

Ibrutinib is a first-in-class, orally available Btk (Bruton’s tyrosine kinase) inhibitor which has been shown to be effective in the treatment against certain types of leukemia and autoimmune disorders. Btk regulates the expression of genes involved in the differentiation and function of osteoclasts, and therefore inhibiting Btk suppresses osteoclastic bone resorption. Results from in vitro testing showed the suppressive effects on osteoclasts and murine models of RA showed ibrutinib treat...

Keywords: BTK, Preclinical, MOA

Preclinical to Clinical Translation of Tofacitinib, a Janus Kinase Inhibitor, in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dowty M, Jesson MI, Ghosh S, et al.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2013. DOI:10.1124/jpet.113.209304

Preclinical studies can provide insight into mechanisms of efficacy and optimal dosing regimens. In this study, Dowty et al. compare the pharmacokinetic / pharmacodynamic profiles of tofacitinib in a murine arthritis model and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis from tofacitinib clinical trials. The main driver of efficacy in both preclinical murine arthritis models and clinical RA was found to be inhibition of JAK1 heterodimer signalling, where total drug exposure (Cave) was a predictor of pr...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, PK-PD

November 13

EULAR recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis with synthetic and biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs: 2013 update

Smolen JS, Landewé R, Breedveld FC, Buch M, Burmester G, Dougados M, Emery P, Gaujoux-Viala C, Gossec L, Nam J, Ramiro S, Winthrop K, de Wit M, Aletaha D, Betteridge N, Bijlsma JWJ, Boers M, Butterger.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204573

The 2010 EULAR recommendations represented a significant step forward in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, and they have been widely adopted across the world. However, in the rapidly evolving world of rheumatology, it was recognised that a substantial amount of new evidence has accumulated, both on agents approved at that time as well as data on new compounds that have become available over the last 3–4 years. This motivated EULAR to form an international task force to update their r...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Clinical

October 13

Preclinical characterization of GLPG0634, a selective inhibitor of JAK1, for the treatment of inflammatory diseases

Van Rompaey L, Galien R, van der Aar EM, et al.
Journal of Immunology 2013;191:3568–77

JAK inhibitors have been identified as having a critical role as therapeutic targets for autoimmune, inflammatory and oncological diseases. GLPG0634 was shown to inhibit JAK1/JAK2 but with a much greater effect on JAK1, a critical pathway in the signal transduction of many inflammatory cytokines. In rodent testing, GLPG0634 showed significant dose-dependent reduction in disease progression in collagen-induced arthritis models, with comparable efficacy to etanercept. An orally bioavailable treatm...

Keywords: JAK, Filgotinib, Preclinical

The JAK inhibitor, tofacitinib, reduces the t cell stimulatory capacity of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells

Kubo S, Yamaoka K, Kondo M, et al.
Ann Rheum Dis 2013. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203756

The role of JAKs is highly important in lymphocyte differentiation, but their function in dendritic cells in unknown. In this study, the authors used tofacitinib, a JAK inhibitor, to assess the function of these kinases in dendritic cell activity. The results show that tofacitinib reduced the expression of CD80/CD86 by suppressing the activation of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-7 and production of type 1 interferon (IFN), and also decreased T cell stimulatory capability. This suggests a nov...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

Proposal for a new nomenclature of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Smolen JS et al.
Ann Rheum Dis 2013. doi: 10.1136/annrhuemdis-2013-204317

With the recent emergence of new therapeutics for rheumatoid arthritis, new nomenclature for disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be needed to more accurately describe the new agents. Currently, DMARDs are divided into two broad groups: synthetic DMARDs (sDMARDs) and biological DMARDs (bDMARDs). The authors propose dividing synthetic DMARDs into conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs) which would encompass traditional DMARDs (e.g. methotrexate, leflunomide), and targeted synthetic...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling

Inhibition of JAK/STAT signalling pathway in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts using small molecule compounds

Migita K, Izumi Y, Torigoshi T et al.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2013 Aug 23. doi: 10.1111/cei.12190

Current JAK inhibitors CP-690,550 and INCB020850 have inhibitory effects on multiple JAK pathways, therefore Migita et al. tested whether selective inhibition of JAK3, using PF-956980, would be enough to ameliorate the rheumatoid inflammatory process. The results indicated that the inhibition of JAK3 alone is does not achieve control of STAT3-dependent signalling, and while it is suggested that the targeting of singular JAK pathways should lead to fewer adverse events, it appears that this appro...

Keywords: JAK, Preclinical, MOA

Tofacitinib in combination with nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis

Kremer J, Li ZG, Hall S et al.
Ann Intern Med. 2013;159;253-261

Many patients with active RA have an inadequate response to biologic and nonbiologic DMARDs. Kremer et al carried out a one year, randomized trial studying the efficacy of tofacitinib in conjunction with background nonbiologic DMARDs (primarily methotrexate) in these patients. The results showed that using tofacitinib in combination with nonbiologic DMARDs rapidly improved physical function and reduced signs and symptoms of RA versus placebo, measured by ACR20 rates, DAS28 and HAQ-DI. The data f...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

September 13

Inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Nijjar JS, Tindell A, McInnes ID and Siebert S.
Rheumatology 2013;52:1556–1562 doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket225

Both the innate and adaptive immune responses are targeted by current RA treatments, but these treatments do not achieve consistent sustained disease remission. Protein kinase inhibitors represent a promising new therapeutic target, owing to their influence on downstream signalling and oral bioavailability. Fostamatinib (R788) has shown ACR20 responses of 67–72% in MTX inadequate responder patients at doses of 100mg bd and 150mg bd. However, the results in biologic non-responder patients w...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Pharmacokinetics of fostamatinib, a spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, in healthy human subjects following single and multiple oral dosing in three phase I studies

Baluom M, Grossbard EB, Mant T, Lau DTW.
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Jul;76(1):78–88

Fostamatinib (R778) is a prodrug designed to deliver the active metabolite R406 which is an inhibitor of SYK and is currently under investigation for treatment of RA. The three clinical trials, conducted in healthy subjects, included two ascending dose studies and a formulation study. The first was a single ascending dose of R406, from 80-600mg, the second was a single and multiple dose study of fostamatinib in aqueous solution with single doses from 80-400mg and multiple doses of 160mg twice da...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, PK-PD

August 13

Oral administration of GLPG0259, an inhibitor of MAPKAPK5, a new target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a phase II, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial

Westhovens R, Keyser FD, Rekalov D, et al.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 May; 72(5):741–4

This phase2 trial assessed the efficacy of GLPG0259, a first-in-class ATP-competitive inhibitor of MAPKAPK5. The trail involved 31 patients with active RA and an inadequate response MTX. Patients received either 50 mg/day GLPG0259 with MTX or a placebo with MTX (patients randomised 2:1) for 12 weeks with the primary efficacy variable being ACR 20 response at week 12. Analysis showed that 5 patients (26.3%) in the GLPG0259 group and 3 patients (27.3%) in the placebo group achieved ACR 20 at 12 we...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Clinical, Phase 2

The JAK inhibitor tofacitinib for active rheumatoid arthritis: results from phase III trials

Salgado E & Gomez-Reino JJ.
International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology June 2013; 8(3):311–13

The tofacitinib ORAL research program involves six phase 3 trials (Standard, Solo, Step, Scan, Sync and Start) to assess the safety and efficacy of tofacitinib 5 and 10 mg twice daily as monotherapy, or with either background MTX or traditional DMARD therapy. This report by Salgado et al. provides an overall analysis of the each of the study designs and the clinical results to date. The results show that tofacitinib effectively controlled the signs and symptoms of RA across a range of patient po...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

June 13

Inflammation and bone erosion are suppressed in models of rheumatoid arthritis following treatment with a novel Syk inhibitor

Pine PR, Chang B, Schoettler N, et al.
Clinical Immunology 2007; 124:244-57

This study investigated the capacity of the novel oral spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibitor R406, and its prodrug R788 (fostamatinib), to suppress the reversed passive Arthrus reaction (RPA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats. R406 (0.1, 1, 5 and 10 mg/kg) and R788 (10 and 30 mg/kg) reduced the cutaneous RPA reaction and inflammatory oedema in a dose-dependent manner, with statistically significant reductions in extravascular leakage and tissue swelling (72% reduction with R406 10 mg...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

Selective inhibition of JAK1 and JAK2 is efficacious in rodent models of arthritis: preclinical characterization of INCB028050

Fridman JS, Scherle PA, Collins R, et al.
Journal of Immunology 2010; 184(9):5298-307

This preclinical characterisation study examined the efficacy and tolerability of the small molecule INCB028050 (now known as baricitinib), an orally bioavailable, selective Janus kinase (JAK) 1/JAK2 inhibitor, in rodent models of arthritis. The decision to investigate its effects of INCB028050 followed positive evidence for the related compound ruxolitinib, the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib and the IL-6 inhibitor tocilizumab in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this preclinical study, INCB028050 was sh...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, Preclinical, Selectivity

An Oral Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk) Inhibitor for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Weinblatt ME, Kavanaugh A, Genovese MC, et al.
The New England Journal of Medicine 2010; 363(14):1303-12

This is the first phase 2 study to be published for spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibitor R788 (fostamatinib). This phase 2 study ingestigated the efficacy and safety of fostamatinib in patients with active RA despite long-term treatment with methotrexate. In this 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients were randomised to receive two doses of R788 (100 mg twice daily or 150 mg once daily) or placebo once or twice daily. Significantly more patients on R788 achieved ACR 20 respo...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Clinical, Phase 2

An oral Syk kinase inhibitor in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a three-month randomized, placebo-controlled, phase II study in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis that did not respond to biologic agents

Genovese MC, Kavanaugh A, Weinblatt ME, et al.
Arthritis & Rheumatism 2011; 63(2):337-45

This was the first phase 2 study to be published investigating the efficacy and safety of the spleen kinase (Syk) inhibitor R788 (fostamatinib) in patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-month trial, patients with active RA on stable background treatment (excluding biologics) were randomised to receive 100 mg R788 or placebo twice daily. Differences in ACR20 responses were significant at week 6 (p=0.003), but not th...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Clinical, Phase 2

Modulation of innate and adaptive immune responses by tofacitinib (CP-690,550)

Ghoreschi K, Jesson MI, Li X, et al.
Journal of Immunology 2011; 186(7):4234-43

This study investigated the effects of the novel Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor CP-690,550 (now known as tofacitinib) on adaptive and innate immune responses, in order to establish the mode of action of JAK inhibitors in the setting of inflammatory diseases. The inhibition of specific JAK/STAT-dependent pathways by CP-690,550 was determined through analysis of cytokine stimulation of mouse and human T cells in vitro.The effects of CP-690,550 on Th-cell differentiation of naive...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

The JAK inhibitor CP-690,550 (tofacitinib) inhibits TNF-induced chemokine expression in fibroblast-like synoviocytes: autocrine role of type 1 interferon

Rosengren S, Corr M, Firestein GS, et al.
Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 2012; 71:440-47

This study investigated the effect of the novel Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor CP-690,550 [tofacitinib] in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) collected from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Human FLSs were cultured from the synovial tissue of patients with RA who were undergoing arthroplastic surgery, cultured and then serum-starved 48 hours prior to stimulation. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or multiplex bead assay were used to...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Preclinical, MOA

A phase IIb dose-ranging study of the oral JAK inhibitor tofacitinib (CP-690,550) versus placebo in combination with background methotrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and an inadequate response to methotrexate alone

Kremer JM, Cohen S, Wilkinson BE, et al.
Arthritis & Rheumatism 2012; 64(4):970-81

This study was one of two 24-week, phase 2b studies undertaken to characterise the efficacy and safety dose-response profile of the oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib. Six doses of tofacitinib (20 mg daily and 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 mg twice daily) and placebo were compared as add-on therapy in adults with active RA despite methotrexate (MTX) therapy. At week 12, ACR 20 response rates were significantly higher with all tofacitinib doses than with placebo (tofacitinib 45.7–58.1%...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Placebo-controlled trial of tofacitinib monotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis

Fleischmann R, Kremer J, Cush J, et al.
The New England Journal of Medicine 2012; 367(6):495-507

This is the first phase 3 study to be published for the oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib. This study investigated tofacitinib as a monotherapy in adults with active rheumatoid arthritis who previously failed to respond to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The study demonstrated that tofacitinib, compared to placebo, was more likely to be associated with reductions in the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and improvement in physical function. 59.8% of patients...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Tofacitinib or adalimumab versus placebo in rheumatoid arthritis

van Vollenhoven RF, Fleischmann R, Cohen S, et al.
The New England Journal of Medicine 2012; 367(6):508-19

The ORAL Standard trial is one of six studies conducted as part of the phase 3 research programme for the oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib. This 12-month, phase 3 study compared the efficacy of tofacitinib with the TNF inhibitor adalimumab or placebo. Patients with active RA despite background methotrexate (MTX) were randomised to 5 or 10 mg tofacitinib twice daily, 40 mg adalimumab fortnightly, or placebo, which was switched to tofacitinib at month 3 in non-responders and month 6 f...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Tofacitinib (CP-690,550) in combination with methotrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis with an inadequate response to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors: a randomised phase 3 trial

Burmester GR, Blanco R, Charles-Schoeman C, et al.
The Lancet 2013; 381(9865):451-60

The ORAL Step trial is one of six studies conducted as part of the phase 3 research programme for the oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib. This 6-month, double-blind, parallel-group phase 3 study investigated the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib in adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with an inadequate response to tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. Patients were randomised to 5 or 10 mg tofacitinib twice daily or placebo, which was switched to tofaciti...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Open-label tofacitinib and double-blind atorvastatin in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a randomised study

McInnes IB, Ho-Youn K, Sang-Heon L, et al.
Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 2013; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202442

This randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre phase 2 study evaluated the efficacy and safety of atorvastatin versus placebo in modifying lipids in 111 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving tofacitinib. All patients took tofacitinib 10 mg twice daily for 12 weeks, and after the first 6 weeks patients were randomised 1:1 to receive either atorvastatin 10 mg once daily (n=50) or matched placebo (n=48) in a double-blind phase for a further 6 weeks. Tofacitinib-induced elevatio...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 2

Tofacitinib (CP-690,550) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving methotrexate: Twelve-month data from a twenty-four–month phase III randomized radiographic study

van der Heijde D, Tanaka Y, Fleischmann R, et al.
Arthritis & Rheumatism 2013; 65(3):559-70

The ORAL Scan trial is one of six studies conducted as part of the phase 3 research programme for the oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib. This is the 12-month interim results published for the ORAL Scan study, a 24-month, phase 3 study that compared the effects of tofacitinib and placebo on structural preservation in patients with active RA despite methotrexate therapy. Patients were randomised to 5 or 10 mg tofacitinib twice daily or placebo, which was switched to 5 or 10 mg tofaciti...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Phase 3

Effects of fostamatinib (R788), an oral spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor, on health-related quality of life in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: analyses of patient-reported outcomes from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Weinblatt ME, Kavanaugh A, Genovese MC, et al.
The Journal of Rheumatology 2013; 40(3):369-78

This phase 2 clinical trial assessed the influence of fostamatinib on patient reported outcomes (PROs) in 457 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX). Patients received either placebo or fostamatinib 100 mg twice daily or 150 mg once daily (1:1:1) for 24 weeks in addition to their baseline MTX. Patients taking fostamatinib 100 mg twice daily had statistically significant improvements in health-related quality of life scores for pain, p...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Clinical, Phase 2