Cytokine Signalling Forum

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March 19

Network Meta‐Analysis of Tofacitinib versus Biologic Treatments in Moderate‐to‐Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Camean‐Castillo M, Gimeno‐Ballester V, Rios‐Sanchez E, Fenix‐Caballero S, Vázquez‐Real M, Alegre‐del Rey E.
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2019 Jun;44(3):384-396.

This study suggests that many bDMARDs and tsDMARDs can be considered equivalent therapeutic alternatives in bDMARD-naïve RA patients, with inadequate response to csDMARDs. In the absence of randomised controlled trials comparing drugs, indirect comparisons and network meta-analysis may provide information to help select an optimal treatment alternative. In this network meta-analysis, 27 randomized controlled trials were analysed to assess the possibility that some drugs on the market may b...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Efficacy

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

Comparisons of Hepatitis C Viral Replication in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Receiving Tocilizumab, Abatacept and Tofacitinib Therapy

Chen YM, Huang WN, Liao TL, Chen JP, Yang SS, Chen HH, Hsieh TY, Hung WT, Chen YH, Chen DY.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2019 Jun;78(6):849-850.

Tocilizumab (TCZ), abatacept (ABA) and tofacitinib (TOF) appear to have no major safety concerns for treatment of RA patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. HCV is an infectious disease which continues to present a major therapeutic challenge for clinicians in treating patients with RA. Previous reports demonstrate that the use of TNF targeted therapies in RA patients with HCV infections appear to have no major safety concerns. During short-term therapy with TCZ and ABA, data has show...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, Safety

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

Efficacy of Monotherapy with Biologics and JAK inhibitors for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review

Emery P, Pope JE, Kruger K, Lippe R, DeMasi R, Lula S, Kola B.
ADV Ther 2018; 35(10):1525–63 DOI: 10.1007/s12325-018-0757-2

The b/tsDMARDs evaluated in this systematic literature review (SLR) were shown to be efficacious as monotherapies, although combination therapies usually achieved better treatment outcomes. Current treatment guidelines recommend combining b/tsDMARDs with MTX in the treatment of RA; however, up to a third of patients are treated with monotherapy. While previous SLRs1–3 have compared the efficacy of b/tsDMARD mono- versus MTX combination therapy they covered a limited number of randomised co...

Keywords: JAK, Baricitinib, 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

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

May 18

Evaluation of Disease Activity in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Tofacitinib by RAPID3: Post Hoc Analyses from Two Phase 3 Trials

Strand V, Lee EB, Yazici Y, Dikranian A, Wilkinson B, Takiya L, Zang C, Bananis E, Bergman MJ.
Clin Rheumatol 2018 Aug; 37(8):2043–53

Patients given tofacitinib (TOF) who achieved Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (RAPID3) remission or low disease activity (LDA) at 6 months, had improved long-term outcomes at 2 years, compared to patients with moderate or high disease activity (MDA/HDA) at 6 months. RAPID3¹ is a patient-reported evaluation of disease activity, based on pooled PROs; patient global assessment, patient assessment of arthritic pain and HAQ-DI scores. Previous studies with tocilizumab have suggested ...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Clinical, PRO

April 18

Effectiveness and Safety of Tofacitinib in Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Cohort Study

Machado MAÁ, Moura CS, Guerra SF, Curtis JR, Abrahamowicz M, Bernatsky S.
Arthritis Res Ther 2018; 20(1):60 doi: 10.1186/s13075-018-1539-6

A retrospective cohort study of tofacitinib (TOF) revealed that patients previously treated with methotrexate who initiated TOF, presented no differences in hospitalised infections or effectiveness, compared with non-TNF biologics. Currently, TOF is recommended in ACR and EULAR guidelines as an alternative to biologics after first-line cDMARD therapy. Previous indirect comparisons have shown that patients with RA who experience cDMARD failure show similar efficacy when given TNFis, abatacept, ...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, Real World, Safety

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

A Comparison of Discontinuation Rates of Tofacitinib and Biologic Disease-modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs in Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Systematic Review and Bayseian Network Meta-analysis Regression

Park JS-K, Lee MY, Jang E-J, Kim H-L, Ha D-M, Lee E-K.
Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017;35:689–99

Based on a Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) in patients with RA who previously showed failure with csDMARDs or biologics, discontinuation rates between tofacitinib (TOF) and biologics (TNFis, abatacept [ABT], rituximab [RTX] and tocilizumab [TCZ]) differed based on previous treatments and reasons for discontinuation. Data were collected from randomised controlled trials (RCT) found from literature searches from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and MEDLINE. Discon...

Keywords: JAK, Tofacitinib, 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

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

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

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

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

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

March 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 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.
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

December 14

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

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

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