Cytokine Signalling Forum

Publications





February 19

Risk of Serious Infection in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Routine Care with Abatacept, Rituximab and Tocilizumab in Denmark and Sweden

Grøn KL, Arkema EV, Glintborg B, Mehnert F, Østergaard M, Dreyer L, Nørgaard M, Krogh NS, Askling J, Hetland ML, ARTIS Study Group.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2019 Mar;78(3):320-327. DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-214326

Differences in baseline characteristics and numerical differences in IR of SI between ABA, RRTX and TOZ were observed. The relative risk (RR) of SIs seemed to vary modestly with drug. TNFi treated RA patients in large observational studies have suggested an initial twofold increased risk of SIs compared with biologic-naïve patients. Long-term observational studies on the risk of SIs in patients treated with non-TNFi bDMARDs are sparse. This study aimed to estimate crude as well as age and...

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

September 18

Sustained Response Following Discontinuation of Methotrexate in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Subcutaneous Tocilizumab

Kremer JM, Rigby W, Singer NG, Birchwood C, Gill D, Reiss W, Pei J, Michalska M.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2018;70:1200–08 DOI 10.1002/art.40493

The COMP-ACT study showed patients achieving low disease activity (LDA) with tocilizumab (TCZ) plus methotrexate (MTX) can discontinue MTX, while maintaining disease control for up to 16 weeks. Previous studies have shown TCZ to be efficacious as a monotherapy or in combination with MTX in patients with RA1,2. Patients frequently discontinue taking DMARDs, such as MTX, due to intolerance or adverse events. COMP-ACT is a randomised, double-blind, 52-week study evaluating the sustained efficacy of...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Efficacy

August 18

Tocilizumab Discontinuation After Attaining Remission in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis who were Treated with Tocilizumab Alone or in Combination with Methotrexate: Results from a Prospective Randomised Controlled Study (the second year of the SURPRISE study)

Kaneko Y, Kato M, Tanaka Y, Inoo M, Kobayashi-Haraoka H, Amano K, Miyata M, Murakawa Y, Yasuoka H, Hirata S, Tanaka E, Miyasaka N, Yamanaka H, Yamamoto K, Takeuchi T, the SURPRISE study group.
Ann Rheum Dis 2018; 77:1268–1275 DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/key121

The second-year results from the SURPRISE study show that low disease activity (LDA) can be maintained after discontinuation of tocilizumab with continued methotrexate after remission is achieved. Discontinuation of biologic agents in patients who have achieved remission or low disease activity (LDA) is desirable from a risk–benefit point of view. Compared with TNF inhibitors, little is known regarding TCZ-free remission or LDA, but studies indicate that only a small proportion of patien...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Efficacy

Two Years of Sarilumab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to MTX: Safety, Efficacy and Radiographic Outcomes

Genovese MC, van Adelsberg J, Fan C, Graham NMH, van Hoogstraten H, Parrino J, Mangan EK, Spindler A, Huizinga TWJ, van der Heijde D, for the EXTEND study investigators.
Rheumatology 2018;57:1423–1431 DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/key121

Two-year treatment of active, moderate-to-severe RA with sarilumab, along with dose reduction in the event of laboratory abnormalities, resulted in durable efficacy outcomes and a safety profile consistent with previous reports involving IL-6R inhibition. Durable long-term safety and efficacy, reduced joint damage progression, and conserving health-related quality of life and work productivity are important goals of therapy in RA.1 Sarilumab significantly reduced disease activity, improved phy...

Keywords: IL-6, Sarilumab, Clinical, Safety

July 18

Sarilumab for Previously-Treated Moderate or Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal

Bermejo I, Ren S, Simpson E, Clowes M, Scott DL, Young A, Stevenson M.
Pharmacoeconomics. 2018 Dec;36(12):1427-1437. doi: 10.1007/s40273-018-0677-7

In this National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) single technology appraisal of sarilumab (SAR) monotherapy and combination therapy with methotrexate (MTX), SAR was considered to have similar efficacy to other bDMARDs for treating moderate-to-severe RA with inadequate response to cDMARDs or TNFis. SAR was also considered a cost-effective use of National Health Service (NHS) resources versus some or all of its comparators in most considered populations. NICE is an independent organisation r...

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

June 18

Patient Characteristics Influence the Choice of Biological Drug in RA, and will make non-TNFi Biologics appear more Harmful than TNFi Biologics

Frisell T, Baecklund E, Bengtsson K, Giuseppe DD, Forsblad-d’Elia H, Askling J, on behalf of the ARTIS Study Group.
Ann Rheum Dis 2018; 77:650–57 DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212395

Analysis of patient characteristics revealed that older and less healthy patients with RA were more likely to receive non-TNFi bDMARDs as a first bDMARD compared to other treatments. This study aimed to describe patient characteristics at initiation of bDMARD treatment at two-time points: first bDMARD initiation and switch to second bDMARD after TNFi treatment. The second aim of the study was to estimate the potential of treatment channelling to confound results in comparative treatment studies...

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

February 18

Radiographic Joint Damage in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Comparing Tocilizumab- and Methotrexate-based Treat-to-target Strategies

Teitsma X, Jacobs JWG, Welsing PMJ, Pethӧ-Schramm A, Borm MEA, van Laar JM, Lafeber FPJG, Bijlsma JWJ.
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2018; 57(2):309–17

Tocilizumab (TCZ) therapy in DMARD-naïve patients with RA, is more effective at reducing erosion progression, particularly in the feet, compared with treat-to-target methotrexate (MTX) therapy. This analysis looked at radiographic joint damage, including separate examination of erosion progression and joint space narrowing (JSN) in the hands and feet of patients enrolled in the U-Act-Early trial. Radiographic damage is a common symptom of RA, with treat-to-target strategies aimed at pre...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Radiographic

Tapering versus Steady-state Methotrexate in Combination with Tocilizumab for Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Randomised, Double-blind Trial

Edwards CJ, Ӧstӧr AJK, Naisbett-Groet B, Kiely P.
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2018;57(1):84–91

Methotrexate (MTX) tapering in patients with active, severe RA receiving intravenous tocilizumab (TCZ) was non-inferior to continuing stable MTX doses in maintaining a good/moderate EULAR response. Although MTX and bDMARD combination therapy may produce better response rates than bDMARD monotherapy, one third of patients discontinue or are non-compliant with MTX due to preference or toxicity. This randomised, non-inferiority study investigated the efficacy and tolerability of MTX tapering and ...

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

January 18

Subcutaneous Tocilizumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Findings from the Common-framework Phase 4 Study Programme TOZURA Conducted in 22 Countries

Choy E, Caporali R, Xavier R, Fautrel B, Sanmarti R, Bao M, Bernasconi C, Pethö-Schramm A.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2018 Mar 1;57(3):499-507. DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex443

This multi-national TOZURA study programme confirmed the efficacy and safety profile of subcutaneous tocilizumab (TC-SC) when administered as either monotherapy or in combination with csDMARDs. TOZURA was a Phase 4 study programme that evaluated open-label, TCZ-SC in patients with moderate-to-severe RA. A total of 1804 patients with active RA were enrolled in the study programme. Patients had inadequate responses to csDMARDs, anti-TNF therapies, or they were MTX-naïve. TCZ-SC was administe...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Phase 4

Two-year Efficacy and Safety of Subcutaneous Tocilizumab in Combination with Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drugs Including Escalation to Weekly Dosing in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Kivitz A, Olech E, Borofsky MA, Zazueta B, Navarro-Sarabia F, Radominski SC, Merrill JT, Pacheco-Tena C, Pei J, Nasmyth-Miller, Pope JE.
J Rheumatol 2018 Apr; 45(4):456-464

This 2-year Phase 3 study, proved that subcutaneous tocilizumab (TC-SC) has long-term efficacy and an acceptable safety profile. Patients enrolled had been previously diagnosed with RA with an inadequate response to DMARDs. Patients were randomised 2:1 to receive doses of TCZ-SC (n=437) or PBO (n=219) every other week for 6 months. After this time, all patients received TCZ-SC. Escape therapy, defined as weekly TCZ-SC, was available to patients from Month 3. Efficacy was analysed using ACR resp...

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

Patient-Reported Outcomes in Newly Diagnosed Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated to Target with a Tocilizumab- or Methotrexate-based Strategy

Teitsma XM, Jacobs JWG, Welsing PMJ, Pethö-Schramm A, Borm MEA, Hendriks L, Denissen NHAM, van Laar JM, Lafeber FPJG, Bijlsma JWJ.
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2017 Dec 1;56(12):2179-2189 doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex319

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) vastly improved in the first 24 weeks post-initiation of tocilizumab (TCZ) therapies compared to methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy in the U-Act-Early trial. U-Act-Early was a two-year, treat-to-target study that compared the safety and efficacy of TCZ and MTX treatment strategies in DMARD-naïve patients with early RA. Sustained remission was classed as more effective in patients given TCZ monotherapy or combination therapy with MTX compared to MTX alone. TCZ th...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, PRO

December 17

Long-term Effectiveness of Tocilizumab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Stratified by Number of Previous Treatment Failures with Biologic Agents: Results from the German RABBIT Cohort

Baganz L, Richter A, Kekow J, Bussmann A, Krause A, Stille C, Listing J, Zink A, Strangfeld A.
Rheumatol Int 2018 Apr; 38(4):579-87

In this observational study, the German RABBIT cohort was used to assess the long-term effectiveness and retention rates of tocilizumab (TCZ) in patients with prior bDMARD failures. Results of the study suggested that TCZ could be an effective treatment option for patients with difficult-to-treat RA. A total of 885 patients were involved in the study and these were categorised dependent on the number of bDMARD failures they had prior to TCZ treatment. Patient data recorded in the cohort include...

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

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

Kim ST, Tayar J, Trinh VA, Suarez-Almazor M, Garcia S, Hwu P, Johnson DH, Uemura M, Diab A.
Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76:2061-64. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-211560

This case series evaluated the use of tocilizumab (TCZ) as an effective treatment for patients who develop arthritis as an adverse event (AE) of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) cancer treatment. Results suggested that TCZ was an effective treatment, as it reduced the arthritis disease progression. ICIs have been defined as a revolutionary treatment for metastatic melanomas; however, a common AE is the development of polyarthritis. Current arthritis treatments reduce the efficiency of ICI thera...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, PRO

October 17

Impact of Tocilizumab Monotherapy On Patient-Reported Outcomes in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis from Two Randomised Controlled Trials

Strand V, Michalska M, Birchwood C, Pei J, Tuckwell K, Finch R, Gabay C, Kavanaugh A, Jones G.
RMD Open;3:e000496. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2017-000496

This post hoc analysis of 2 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) AMBITION and ADACTA found that tocilizumab monotherapy results in substantial and clinically meaningful improvements in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) over 24 weeks. PROs assessed included patient global assessment (PtGA), pain, HAQ-DI, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT-F) and Short-Form-36 (SF-36) physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) and eight domain scores. Tocilizumab (TCZ)...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, PRO

Transaminase Levels and Hepatic Events During Tocilizumab Treatment: Pooled Analysis of Long-Term Clinical Trial Safety Data in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Genovese MC, Kremer JM, van Vollenhoven RF, Alten R, Scali JJ, Kelman A, Dimonaco S, Brockwell L.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017 Sep;69(9):1751-1761. doi: 10.1002/art.40176

In this pooled analysis investigating liver enzyme abnormalities and hepatic adverse events (AEs) during long-term tocilizumab (TCZ) treatment for RA in clinical trials, although transaminase elevations were frequent, rates of hepatic serious AEs remained low. Data were pooled from patients who received ≥1 dose of IV TCZ with or without DMARDs in Phase 3 or 4 clinical trials, long-term extensions, and a pharmacology study. A total of 4171 patients were included in the all-exposure populati...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Safety

August 17

Evaluation of Newly Proposed Remission Cut-points for Disease Activity Score in 28 Joints (DAS28) in Rheumatoid Arthritis upon IL-6 Pathway Inhibition

Schoels M, Alasti F, Smolen JS and Aletaha D.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Jul 4;19(1):155. doi: 10.1186/s13075-017-1346-5

DAS28 is not currently included in the joint remission definitions of the ACR and the EULAR because its formula is disproportionately influenced by Acute Phase Response (APR). IL-6 pathway blockers or JAK inhibitors greatly reduce APR, causing patients to be classed as in DAS28 remission despite still having multiple swollen joints. To make DAS28 remission criteria more stringent, the alternative cut-points of <1.9 and <2.2 for CRP and ESR, respectively, have been proposed. This study q...

Keywords: IL-6, Tocilizumab, Clinical, Efficacy

July 17

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor or Tocilizumab Therapy as First Biologic in a Global Comparative observational Study

Choy EH, Bernasconi C, Aassi M, Molina JF, Epis OM.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Oct;69(10):1484-1494. doi: 10.1002/acr.23303

To date, the comparative efficacy of tocilizumab and TNFi for patients with RA has only been investigated in a single head-to-head trial and network meta-analyses. This study, ACT-iON, is the first prospective, large-scale, global, multicentre, comparative effectiveness study comparing initiation of intravenous tocilizumab with initiation of a TNFi in patients with RA as the first-line biologic treatment after inadequate response to csDMARDs. Patients were observed in a real-world, clinical pra...

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

Pathogenetic Insights from the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

McInnes I, Schett G.
Lancet 2017;389:2328–37 DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31472-1

This review paper examines the understanding gained from looking at the effects of specific immune interventions in the treatment of RA. The introduction of novel IL-6 agents has provided the ideal opportunity to explore the distinct effect of cytokine inhibition, as opposed to receptor inhibition, at the molecular level. Mechanistic insights into TNF could also be obtained in the future with advanced molecular and informatics approaches, and future biopsy studies will be important to explore t...

Keywords: Cytokine Signalling, Preclinical, MOA

May 17

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

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 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

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

January 17

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

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

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

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

August 16

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

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

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

March 16

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 (SURPRISE 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

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

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

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

September 15

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

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

April 15

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

January 15

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

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

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

May 14

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

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

March 14

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

June 13

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

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