Highlights of 2019

Please click the links below to go to the CSF review of each paper

2019 was another remarkable year in cytokine signalling. We can be optimistic that clinical practice for inflammatory arthritis will continue to improve, with promising long-term safety data supporting the use of established JAK inhibitors; tofacitinib and baricitinib, in addition to exciting phase III clinical data for filgotinib and newly approved upadacitinib. You can find the most notable papers, as selected by CSF Steering Committee Chair Professor Iain McInnes, with links to their respecti...

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Two-Year Safety and Effectiveness of Peficitinib in Moderate-To-Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Phase IIb, Open-Label Extension Study

Rheumatol Ther . 2019 Dec;6(4):503-520. doi: 10.1007/s40744-019-00167-6. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Peficitinib (PEF) 100 mg QD demonstrated a stable safety profile and sustained effectiveness in patients with moderate-to-severe RA in a two-year extension of two global phase IIb studies. Patients enrolled in the LTE had completed one of two 12-week phase IIb PEF trials, one with MTX and one without. The primary objective of the LTE was to assess treatment-emergent adverse events and clinical laboratory evaluations for 105 weeks. As a secondary objective, an additional 2-years of effectiveness ...

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Safety of Baricitinib in East Asian Patients With Moderate to Severe Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Integrated Analysis From Clinical Trials

Int J Rheum Dis . 2020 Jan;23(1):65-73. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13748.

Post-hoc analyses of five completed phase II and III trials and an ongoing LTE suggested that BARI QD is well tolerated in East Asian patients with moderate-to-severe RA, with a similar safety and tolerability profile to the overall population.The majority of clinical evidence for RA treatments has been obtained from a predominantly Caucasian population, which may not be relevant to East Asian patients. In this post-hoc safety analysis, 740 Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean and Chinese patients were i...

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Exposure-Response Analyses of Upadacitinib Efficacy and Safety in Phase 2 and 3 Studies to Support Benefit-Risk Assessment in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clin Pharmacol Ther . 2020 Apr;107(4):994-1003. doi: 10.1002/cpt.1671.

UPA 15 mg provided the optimal benefit-risk in RA through maximizing efficacy with only small incremental benefit with 30 mg, and with consistency across RA subpopulations and with UPA monotherapy or combination with csDMARDs. Exposure-response analyses were conducted using combined data from two Phase 2b and five Phase 3 studies in order to characterise the relationship between plasma exposure and efficacy, as well as to select safety parameters using the totality of the data in subjects with R...

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Comparative Efficacy and Safety of Peficitinib 25, 50, 100, and 150 mg in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Bayesian Network Meta‑Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Clin Drug Investig .2020 Jan;40(1):65-72. doi: 10.1007/s40261-019-00863-9.

PEF 50, 100, and 150 mg once daily was effective in treating active RA, without causing a significant risk for AEs.Intracellular pathways, including JAK and Tyk-2, are critical for immune cell activation, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and cytokine signaling. PEF has been developed for use in RA, but the comparative efficacy and safety of regimens and dosages has not been established. A Bayesian network meta-analysis was conducted to combine direct and indirect evidence to assess the rela...

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A systematic review and meta-analysis of infection risk with small molecule JAK inhibitors in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2019;58(10):1755–66

Absolute serious infection rates were low. However, across the JAKinibs, the incidence of HZ is higher than expected for the population. While the risk was numerically greatest with BARI, indirect comparisons between the drugs did not demonstrate any significant difference in risk. How JAKinibs increase the risk of HZ reactivation is unclear, but how different JAKs interact in the immune response suggest that there may be differences in safety profiles between JAKinib drugs, underpinned by their...

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Tofacitinib Modulates the VZV-specific CD4+ T Cell Immune Response in vitro in Lymphocytes of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2019;58(11):2051–60

TOF significantly modulated the Th1 response to Varicella-zoster-virus (VZV). The poor VZV-specific cellular immune responses in patients with RA may be considered in recommendations regarding appropriate vaccination strategies for enhancing the VZV-specific Th1 response.Previous studies have shown that treatment with JAKinibs increases HZ incidence compared with conventional DMARDs. This cross-sectional in vitro study aimed to investigate the effect of TOF on the VZV-specific T cell immune resp...

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Risk Factors for Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Phase III and Long-Term Extension Studies of Tofacitinib in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis Rheumatol .2019 Sep;71(9):1450-1459. doi: 10.1002/art.40911. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Post hoc analyses of the six ORAL studies and two LTE’s suggested that after 24 weeks of TOF treatment, increases in HDL-c and decreases in the TC/HDL-c ratio appeared to be associated with reduced future MACE risk in RA patients. 52 MACE occurred in 4076 patients over 12873 patient-years of exposure. Separate Cox regression models were used to evaluate traditional CV risk factors’ association with time to first MACE at baseline and changes in lipid levels with time to future MACE after 24 weeks...

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Changes in Lipid Levels and Incidence of Cardiovascular Events Following Tofacitinib Treatment in Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis: A Pooled Analysis Across Phase 3 and Long-Term Extension Studies

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2019;71(10):1387–95

Serum lipid level increases at month 3 following TOF treatment in PsA were consistent with observation in RA and psoriasis. The risk of CV disease is higher in people with PsA versus the general population – comparable with the well-documented rates seen in RA and diabetes. The reasons for this are not fully elucidated, but it has been suggested that there is an association between peripheral joint inflammation and lipid dysregulation in PsA. This post hoc analysis of pooled data from OPAL Broad...

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Effect of Baricitinib and Adalimumab in Reducing Pain and Improving Function in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Low Disease Activity: Exploratory Analyses from RA-BEAM

J Clin Med. 2019 Sep 5;8(9). pii: E1394

Post hoc analyses from RA-BEAM concluded that BARI 4 mg QD or ADA 40 mg Q2W resulted in improvements in pain, physical function, fatigue and work productivity in patients with RA, independent of the treatment’s impact on inflammation. Among patients achieving remission or LDA, greater improvements in pain and physical function were seen with BARI than with ADA or PBO.Of 1010 patients included in the analysis at Week 24, 168 were in remission, 310 were in remission/LDA and 700 were not in remissi...

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