Long-term safety and efficacy of upadacitinib or adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: results through 3 years from the SELECT-COMPARE study

RMD Open. 2022;8(1):e002012 doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2021-002012

Upadacitinib continues to show consistently better clinical responses, compared with adalimumab, through 3 years, including rates of remission and low disease activity, physical function and pain severity.Following the favourable upadacitinib efficacy data seen in the SELECT-COMPARE study at 72 weeks, Fleischmann, et al. assessed the long-term safety and efficacy of upadacitinib versus adalimumab over 3 years in the long-term extension of this study, with promising results. ...

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Effectiveness of baricitinib and tofacitinib compared with bDMARDs in RA: results from a cohort study using nationwide Swedish register data

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keac068

Data from the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register and Swedish Registries, show a higher treatment retention and overall equivalent or better treatment response on baricitinib, compared with bDMARDs or tofacitinib, but no statistically significant differences between tofacitinib and bDMARDs.In this largest population-based study to date, comparing RA patients initiating baricitinib, tofacitinib or bDMARDs, Barbulescu, et al. help to fill some of the current knowledge gaps surrounding the effica...

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Janus kinase-targeting therapies in rheumatology: a mechanisms-based approach

Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2022 Jan 5:1–13. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.1038/s41584-021-00726-8

The development of targeted small-molecule therapies such as JAK inhibitors, which have varied selective inhibitory profiles, has enabled a paradigm shift in the treatment of diverse disorders, to the extent that they could ultimately enable either complete withdrawal or avoidance of glucocorticoid use in some autoimmune diseases, and could have the potential to regulate any active factor inhibiting the transition to cure.In this review paper, Tanaka, et al. describe the progress in JAK-targetin...

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Effect of dose adjustments on the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a post hoc analysis of an open-label, long-term extension study (ORAL Sequel)

Clin Rheumatol. 2022 Jan 1. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.1007/s10067-021-05908-z

Post-hoc analysis shows that dosing up from tofacitinib 5 to 10 mg BID is associated with improved efficacy for up to 12 months, versus staying on 5 mg BID, and dosing down from 10 to 5 mg BID is not generally associated with a significant loss of efficacy.Although clinical trials have generally shown no significant differences, in terms of efficacy and safety, when switching tofacitinib dose up or down, these per-protocol switches are not directly informative for clinical decision-making in dai...

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Effect of JAK inhibitors on high- and low-density lipoprotein in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Clin Rheumatol. 2022. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.1007/s10067-021-06003-z

Systematic review and network meta-analysis highlight that RA patients who receive recommended doses of the five approved JAK inhibitors (tofacitinib, baricitinib, upadacitinib, filgotinib, and peficitinib) are likely to experience an increase in serum low- and high-density lipoprotein (LDL and HDL) levels.JAK inhibitors have been associated with alterations in levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may lead to dyslipidaemia (an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease). However, the e...

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Tofacitinib and risk of cardiovascular outcomes: results from the Safety of Tofacitinib in Routine care patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (STAR-RA) study

Ann Rheum Dis. 2022 Jan 13. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2021-221915

Real-world evidence finds no increased risk of CV outcomes with tofacitinib, in comparison with TNFi, in patients with RA. However, an elevated risk of CV outcomes cannot be ruled out in patients with CV risk factors or history of CVD.Recent post-marketing findings from the ‘ORAL Surveillance’ trial have raised concerns that tofacitinib, in comparison with TNFi, may increase the risk of CV disease in patients with RA who are at least 50 years of age and with at least one risk factor for CVD. To ...

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Cardiovascular and Cancer Risk With Tofacitinib in Rheumatoid Arthritis

N Engl J Med 2022;386:316–26. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2202778

In this paper, Ytterberg et al. compare incidence of MACE and cancers (excluding NMSC) with tofacitinib 5 mg BID, tofacitinib 10 mg BID and TNFi. They found that risk of MACE and cancer were higher with tofacitinib versus TNFi, and did not meet noninferiority criteria.This prospective head-to-head safety trial compared tofacitinib to TNFi, and was required by the FDA after increases in lipid levels and cancers were observed during tofacitinib drug development. ...

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Clinical Management of Herpes Zoster in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis or Psoriatic Arthritis Receiving Tofacitinib Treatment

Rheumatol Ther. 2021. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1007/s40744-021-00390-0

This post hoc analysis provides the first detailed description of the management and outcomes of HZ events in tofacitinib RA and PsA clinical studies.While prior studies have characterised the increased HZ risk with JAKinibs, the clinical management of these events has not been detailed.To this end, Winthrop, et al. analysed data from 21 RA and 3 PsA clinical studies to evaluate how HZ events and their sequelae were clinically managed during the RA and PsA tofacitinib clinical development progra...

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Pain Reduction in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Who Use Opioids: A Post Hoc Analysis of Phase 3 Trials of Baricitinib

ACR Open Rheumatol. 2021. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1002/acr2.11380

This post hoc analysis shows that pain reduction was similar between opioid users and nonusers with baricitinib 2 mg and 4 mg, but not adalimumab.Use of opioids to treat RA-related pain has increased, yet long-term use has been associated with reduced efficacy and safety concerns. In addition, the misuse of opioids has resulted in a public health crisis in the United States and highlights the need for safe, effective nonaddictive alternatives for pain management. As such, Pope, et al. assessed p...

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