Finding an effective treatment strategy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who have not benefited from previous tumor necrosis factor–α antagonist treatment is important for minimizing RA disease activity and improving patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to compare the safety and effectiveness of etanercept in patients with and without infliximab (IFX) treatment experience. Patients (n = 7,099) from a large postmarketing observational study of etanercept use in Japan were divided into 2 cohorts based on previous IFX use (pre-IFX and non-IFX). Baseline characteristics were assessed in each cohort. Adverse events (AEs) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) responses were monitored every 4 weeks for 24 weeks. At baseline, pre-IFX patients were younger and had fewer comorbidities and a shorter RA duration than non-IFX patients. During the study, pre-IFX patients received concomitant methotrexate more often than non-IFX patients. The incidence of AEs and serious AEs were significantly lower in pre-IFX patients, as was the percentage of patients who discontinued treatment. Both cohorts had significant improvement (P < 0.001) in EULAR responses at the end of the treatment period. This study demonstrated that etanercept was effective and well tolerated in active RA patients with and without prior IFX treatment.
Etanercept; Infliximab; Postmarketing surveillance study; Rheumatoid arthritis; TNF-α antagonists
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists reduce the signs and symptoms of spondyloarthritides, including ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of adalimumab, 40 mg every other week, for patients with AS or PsA and prior treatment with infliximab (IFX) and/or etanercept (ETN).
Both trials were 12-week, open-label studies with an optional extension period up to week 20. Patients were stratified by history of anti-TNF treatment, prior anti-TNF therapy received (IFX, ETN, or both), and reason for discontinuation of prior TNF antagonist. ETN was discontinued ≥ 3 weeks, and IFX was discontinued ≥ 2 months before the first adalimumab administration. Effectiveness at week 12 was evaluated by using observed standard-outcome measurements for AS and PsA.
At week 12 of adalimumab treatment, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index 50 responses were achieved by 40.8% of 326 patients with AS who had received prior anti-TNF therapy and by 63.0% of 924 patients with AS who were naive to TNF antagonist. Observed response rates were generally greater for patients who discontinued the prior anti-TNF therapy because of loss of response or intolerance than for patients who discontinued because of lack of response. Median changes in swollen-joint count and in enthesitis score were similar in patients with and without prior TNF-antagonist treatment. Modified PsA response criteria were fulfilled by 71.2% of 66 patients with PsA, with prior exposure to TNF antagonists, and by 78.8% of 376 patients with no history of anti-TNF therapy. The percentages of patients with PsA attaining a Physician's Global Assessment of psoriasis of "Clear/Almost clear" increased from 33.3% to 61.0% for patients with prior IFX and/or ETN treatment and from 34.6% to 69.7% for patients without anti-TNF therapy. The median change in the Nail Psoriasis Severity Index was -6 for both groups. In both studies, patterns of adverse events were similar for patients with and without prior anti-TNF therapy and were consistent with the known safety profile of adalimumab.
Patients with AS or PsA previously treated with IFX and/or ETN experienced clinically relevant improvements of their diseases after 12 weeks of adalimumab.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00478660 and NCT00235885.
To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of adalimumab alone or in combination with standard disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Patients with active RA despite treatment with DMARDs or prior treatment with a tumour necrosis factor antagonist participated in a multicentre, open‐label clinical study of adalimumab 40 mg every other week for 12 weeks with an optional extension phase. Patients were allowed to continue with pre‐existing traditional DMARDs. Long‐term safety results are reported for all patients (4210 patient‐years (PYs) of adalimumab exposure). The observed effectiveness results at week 12 are reported using American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria.
Among the 6610 treated patients, adalimumab was generally well tolerated. Serious infections occurred in 3.1% of patients (5.5/100 PYs, including active tuberculosis, 0.5/100 PYs). Demyelinating disease (0.06%) and systemic lupus erythematosus (0.03%) were rare serious adverse events. The standardised incidence ratio of malignancy was 0.71 (95% CI 0.49 to 1.01). The standardised mortality ratio was 1.07 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.49). At week 12, 69% of patients achieved an ACR20 response, 83% a moderate, and 33% a good EULAR response. Adalimumab was effective in combination with a variety of DMARDs. The addition of adalimumab to antimalarials was comparably effective to the combination of adalimumab and methotrexate.
Considering the limitations of an open‐label study, adalimumab alone or in combination with standard DMARDs appeared to be well tolerated and effective in 6610 difficult‐to‐treat patients with active RA treated in clinical practice.
adalimumab; rheumatoid arthritis; tumour necrosis factor; monoclonal antibody; antirheumatic agents
A substantial proportion of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not respond, or lose initial response, to adalimumab treatment. One explanation for non‐response is that patients develop anti‐adalimumab antibodies.
To evaluate the incidence of formation of antibody against adalimumab and the association with serum adalimumab concentrations and clinical response.
In a cohort of 121 consecutive patients with RA treated with adalimumab, serum adalimumab concentrations and antibodies against adalimumab were measured together with clinical response variables before and up to 28 weeks after the start of treatment.
Anti‐adalimumab antibodies were detected in 21 patients (17%) during 28 weeks of treatment. EULAR non‐responders had antibodies significantly more often than good responders (34% vs 5%; p = 0.032). Patients with antibodies showed less improvement in disease activity (mean (SD) delta DAS28 0.65 (1.35)) than patients without antibodies (mean delta DAS28 1.70 (1.35)) (p = 0.001). Patients with antibodies during follow‐up had lower serum adalimumab concentrations at 28 weeks than patients without antibodies (median 1.2 mg/l, range 0.0–5.6 vs median 11.0 mg/l, range 2.0–33.0, respectively; p<0.001). Good responders had higher serum adalimumab concentrations than moderate responders (p = 0.021) and non‐responders (p = 0.001). Concomitant methotrexate use was lower in the group with anti‐adalimumab antibodies (52%) than in the group without antibodies (84%) (p = 0.003).
Serum antibodies against adalimumab are associated with lower serum adalimumab concentrations and non‐response to adalimumab treatment.
adalimumab; anti‐adalimumab antibodies; human anti‐human antibodies; rheumatoid arthritis
The induction of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) or anti-double-stranded (ds) -DNA antibodies (Abs) after infliximab (IFX) therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a well-known phenomenon, but the correlation of such Abs with the clinical response to IFX has not yet been determined. The aims of this retrospective observational study were to examine the prevalence of positive ANA and anti-ds-DNA Abs before and after IFX therapy in patients with RA and to investigate whether an increased titer of such Abs is associated with the clinical efficacy of IFX.
One hundred eleven RA patients who had received IFX were studied. ANA (indirect immunofluorescence with HEp-2 cells) and anti-ds-DNA Abs (Farr assay) results were examined before and after IFX therapy.
The overall clinical response assessed by EULAR response criteria was as follows: good response in 55%, including remission in 38%; moderate response in 18%; and no response (NOR) in 27%. The positivity of ANA (≥ 1:160) and anti-ds-DNA Abs significantly increased from 25% to 40% (P = 0.03) and from 3% to 26% (P < 0.001) after IFX, respectively. EULAR response differed significantly according to the ANA titer before IFX (P = 0.001), and the efficacy of IFX became worse as the ANA titer before starting IFX increased. Furthermore, the differences in the clinical response of the ANA titer before IFX ≤ 1:80 and ≥ 1:160 were significant (good, moderate, and no response were 66%, 9%, and 25% in ≤ 1:80 group versus 26%, 33%, 41% in ≥ 1:160 group, respectively; P < 0.001). In 13 patients whose ANA had increased after IFX, 10 showed NOR, only one showed a good response, and none reached remission. These clinical responses were significantly different from ANA no-change patients. In 21 patients with positive anti-ds-DNA Abs after IFX, 16 showed NOR, only two showed a good response, and none reached remission.
The present study suggests that the ANA titer before starting IFX predicts the clinical response to IFX. The increased titers of ANA or anti-ds-DNA Abs after IFX may be useful markers of NOR.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and safety of adalimumab in patients with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in Japan. Patients aged 4 to 17 years were enrolled in a single-arm, open-label, multicentre study of adalimumab. Patients weighing <30 kg received 20 mg every other week (eow), and those ≥30 kg received 40 mg eow. Concomitant methotrexate (MTX) was allowed (≤10 mg/m2 per week). The primary efficacy outcome was the percent of patients with American College of Rheumatology Pediatric 30 response (ACR Pedi 30) at week 16. JIA core variables, serum adalimumab concentrations, and anti-adalimumab antibodies (AAAs) were analysed. Patients were monitored for adverse events (AEs). Twenty-five patients (20 with concomitant MTX at baseline and 5 without) were enrolled: 24 patients completed 16 weeks of therapy and 22 patients completed 60 weeks. At week 16, 90 % of patients with MTX and 100 % without MTX achieved ACR Pedi 30; response rates were maintained through week 60 in 94 and 80 % of patients, respectively. Each JIA core variable improved over time. Six patients became AAA positive (two each at weeks 8, 16, and 60), some of which were transient. All six AAA-positive patients achieved ACR Pedi 30 at week 16, and four maintained that response at week 60. Six patients (all with MTX) experienced nine serious AEs (JIA, pyrexia, arthralgia, pneumonia, hepatitis B infection, pharyngitis, dehydration, pharyngeal pain, and pneumonia). In pediatric patients with polyarticular JIA in Japan, adalimumab was safe and effective for reducing disease activity for up to 60 weeks.
Adalimumab; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Methotrexate; Pharmacokinetics
To describe the efficacy and safety of adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had previously discontinued infliximab treatment.
24 patients with RA who discontinued treatment with infliximab (switchers) were treated with adalimumab (40 mg every 2 weeks, subcutaneously) for 12 months. The results were compared with those for 25 patients with RA receiving adalimumab who had not previously used an anti‐tumour necrosis factor α inhibitor (controls). Disease activity was measured with the 28 joint count Disease Activity Score (DAS28), and clinical response with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20% response criteria.
At baseline there were no differences in demographic, clinical, and laboratory features between the two groups. After 12 months' adalimumab treatment, clinical improvement was similar in both groups. More specifically, ACR 20% response criteria were achieved by 18/24 (75%) switchers and by 19/25 (76%) subjects in the control group. Four switchers discontinued the study—two because of adverse events and two because of lack of efficacy, while three control patients discontinued the study—one because of lack of efficacy and two owing to side effects.
Adalimumab is a well tolerated and effective treatment for patients with RA, even when infliximab has been discontinued.
rheumatoid arthritis; infliximab; adalimumab
To evaluate the effectiveness of adalimumab in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and identify predictors of good clinical response for joint and skin lesions.
Patients received adalimumab 40 mg every other week in addition to standard therapy in this prospective, 12-week, open-label, uncontrolled study. Four definitions of good clinical response were used: ⩾50% improvement in American College of Rheumatology response criteria (ACR50), good response according to European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) guidelines, a ⩾3-grade improvement in Physician Global Assessment of psoriasis (PGA) and a ⩾50% improvement in the Nail Psoriasis Severity Index (NAPSI). Response predictors were determined by logistic regression with backward elimination (selection level was 5%).
Of 442 patients, 94% completed 12 weeks of treatment. At week 12, 74%, 51% and 32% of the patients had achieved ACR20, 50 and 70, respectively; 87% and 61% experienced moderate and good responses according to EULAR criteria, respectively. The percentage of patients with PGA results of “clear/almost clear” increased from 34% (baseline) to 68%. The mean NAPSI score was reduced by 44%. No new safety signals were detected. A lower Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) score, greater pain assessment, male sex and absence of systemic glucocorticoid therapy were strongly associated with achievement of ACR50 and good response according to EULAR criteria. In addition, greater C-reactive protein concentration and polyarthritis predicted ACR50, and non-involvement of large joints predicted a good response according to EULAR criteria.
Adalimumab was effective in patients with PsA. Lower impairment of physical function, greater pain, male sex and no systemic treatment with glucocorticoids were factors that increased the chance of achieving a good clinical response.
Background and objectives:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes considerable disability and often results in loss of work capacity and productivity. This study evaluated the impact of adalimumab, a tumour necrosis factor antagonist with demonstrated efficacy in RA, on long-term employment.
Data from an open-label extension study (DE033) of 486 RA patients receiving adalimumab monotherapy who previously did not respond to at least one disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and had baseline work status information were compared with data from 747 RA patients receiving DMARD treatment in a Norway-based longitudinal registry. Primary outcomes included the time patients continued working at least part time and the likelihood of stopping work. Secondary outcomes included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) responses and disease remission. Outcomes were compared 6, 12 and 24 months after enrolment.
During a 24-month period, the 158 patients who received adalimumab and were working at baseline worked 7.32 months longer (95% CI 4.8 to 9.1) than did the 180 patients treated with DMARDs, controlling for differences in baseline characteristics. Regardless of baseline work status, patients receiving adalimumab worked 2.0 months longer (95% CI 1.3 to 2.6) and were significantly less likely to stop working than those receiving DMARDs (HR 0.36 (95% CI −0.30 to 0.42) for all patients and 0.36 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.85) for patients working at baseline, respectively). The patients who received adalimumab were also considerably more likely to achieve ACR responses and disease remission than DMARD-treated patients. Patients who achieved EULAR good response and remission were less likely to stop working, but this relationship was only seen in patients receiving DMARDs.
Patients with RA who received adalimumab experienced considerably longer periods of work and continuous employment, and greater rates of clinical responses, than patients receiving DMARDs. The mechanism by which adalimumab decreases likelihood of stopping work seems to be different from that of DMARD treatment and independent of clinical responses.
Infliximab (IFX), an antibody to tumor necrosis factor, (TNF)-α has efficacy in treating Crohn's disease (CD). However, knowledge of the potential effects of IFX on patients' immune profiles is lacking. The purpose of this study was to reveal the immunological effects of IFX.
Twenty-two patients with a CD activity index (CDAI) of 194.2±92.9 and an average duration of disease of 3.26 months and 21 healthy controls were included. Patients were to have their first IFX remission induction therapy with 3 infusions (5 mg/kg) at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Oral 5-aminosalicylic acid was the only ongoing medication in the patient population. Blood samples at baseline, 12 hours after the first infusion and at week 14 were labeled with anti-CD4/CD25 antibodies for immunohistochemical measurement of regulatory T-cells (Treg). Serum cytokines and chemokines were measured by suspension array and ELISA.
CDAI significantly decreased prior to the second IFX infusion (p<0.001). Clinical remission rates were 77.3% and 91% by the second and third infusions, respectively. At baseline, interleukin (IL)-6 (p<0.03), IL-8 (p<0.03), IL-10 (p=0.050), IL-13 (p<0.01), transforming growth factor-β1 (p<0.01), and 'regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted' (RANTES) (p<0.01) were elevated in patients. After the initial IFX infusion, TNF-α (p<0.04), IL-6 (p<0.03), interferon (IFN)-γ (p<0.04), IFN-γ-inducible protein-10 (p<0.01), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (p<0.01), macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (p<0.01), and RANTES (p<0.01) were decreased. IFX infusion was associated with an increase in Treg (p<0.01) and a decrease in the Th1 (IFN-γ)/Th2 (IL-4) ratio (p<0.03).
IFX use was associated with restoration of the Th1/Th2 balance after a single infusion and seemed to promote induction of naïve Th0 lymphocytes to Treg. This knowledge should have clinical relevance.
Crohn's disease; Infliximab; Transforming growth factor-β1; RANTES; Regulatory T-cell
Objectives: To compare the short term clinical and biological effects of intravenous (IV) pulse methylprednisolone (MP) and infliximab (IFX) in patients with severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite methotrexate (MTX) treatment.
Methods: Patients with active RA despite MTX treatment were randomly allocated to receive a single IV infusion of MP (1 g) or three IV infusions of IFX (3 mg/kg) on weeks 0, 2, and 6. Patients were "blindly" evaluated for disease activity measures. Quality of life (QoL) was evaluated through the SF-36 health survey. Serum matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) titres were measured at baseline, weeks 2 and 6.
Results: Compared with baseline, significant improvement was noted in all activity measures, including serum C reactive protein (CRP) titres, in the IFX group only. At week 14, 6/9 (67%) and 4/9 (44%) IFX patients met the ACR20 and 50 response criteria, while this was the case in only 1/12 (8%) and 0/12 (0%) MP patients, respectively (p<0.05). None of the QoL scales improved with MP treatment, whereas some did so in the IFX group. Serum MMP-3 titres significantly decreased (41% drop) at week 6 in the IFX group, while no changes were seen in patients given MP.
Conclusion: This short term randomised comparative study demonstrates that TNF blockade is better than MP pulse therapy in a subset of patients with severe refractory RA, with improvement in not only clinical parameters of disease activity but also biological inflammatory indices, such as serum CRP and MMP-3 titres.
The efficacy of infliximab, a chimeric antibody against tumor necrosis factor-α used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), tends to decrease as patients develop human antichimeric antibody against infliximab (HACA). The clinical study reported here was designed to evaluate the efficacy of mizoribine (MZR) pulse therapy in patients who show a reduced or insufficient response to infliximab. Ten RA patients who had active arthritis despite infliximab therapy were treated with MZR pulse therapy at a dose of 100 mg MZR and methotrexate (MTX) and the disease activity assessed at baseline and at weeks 4–8, 12–16, and 20–24. The dose was increased to 150 mg in those patients who showed an insufficient response to MZR. The mean 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28) at weeks 12–16 and 20–24 of therapy was significantly lower than that at baseline. A moderate or good European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) response was achieved in seven patients (70%) at weeks 12–16 and in five patients (50%) at weeks 20–24. The dose of 150 mg MZR was effective in one of the three patients who showed an insufficient response to pulse therapy with 100 mg MZR. Based on these results, we propose that MZR pulse therapy should be attempted before the patient is switched to other biologics.
Infliximab; Mizoribine; Rheumatoid arthritis
To investigate the efficacy of switching to a second biological drug in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
Since 2000, Danish RA patients (n = 1021) receiving biological therapy have been registered in the nationwide DANBIO database. The first and second treatment series of patients, who switched therapy before 2005 (n = 235), were analysed for their reasons for switching, Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28), DAS28 improvement, European League against Rheumatology (EULAR) response and drug survival. Most patients switched from infliximab to etanercept or adalimumab.
Median survivals for switchers' first/second treatment were 37/92 weeks (all patients' first treatment 119 weeks). Reasons for switching were lack of efficacy (LOE; 109 patients), adverse events (AE; 72), other reasons (54). If patients experienced AE to the first drug, 15% had AE to the second. Median DAS28 improvements in first/second treatment at 3 months were: LOE switchers 1.1/1.6; AE switchers 1.5/0.8. In LOE switchers, a good/moderate EULAR response was more prevalent during the second treatment course than during the first (63% versus 54%, p = 0.02). AE switchers achieved similar EULAR responses to both treatments (59% versus 50%, p = 0.38).
LOE switchers had a better clinical response to the second treatment. AE switchers responded equally well to both treatments, with a low risk of discontinuing the second drug as a result of AE. Drug survival of the switchers' second biological therapy was higher than of the first, but lower than that of non‐switchers. No difference between various sequences of drugs were found. Danish post‐marketing data thus support that RA patients may benefit from switching biological therapy.
Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) medications are a class of biologics employed in the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Adalimumab is the first fully human monoclonal immunoglobulin directed against TNF-α, which binds with high affinity and specificity to membrane and soluble TNF. Adalimumab administered subcutaneously has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and severe chronic psoriasis. Studies have shown that adalimumab is effective for inducing and maintaining remission of moderate-to-severe active Crohn’s disease (CD) patients at an induction dose of 160/80 mg (week 0 and 2) and at a maintenance dose of 40 mg every other week. The efficacy of adalimumab as a second-line therapy has also been documented for patients with loss of response or intolerance to infliximab. Adalimumab is also superior to placebo for inducing and maintaining complete perianal fistula closure. It also seems effective for reducing extraintestinal manifestations. The safety profile is similar to that of other anti-TNF therapy in CD patients, with lower immunogenicity and rate of adverse injection reactions than infliximab. Adalimumab is not approved for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). Recently, however, the results of the first randomized, controlled trial on adalimumab for UC showed that adalimumab at 160/80 mg induction dose was safe and effective for inducing remission and clinical response after 8 weeks in patients with moderately-to-severely active UC failing treatment with corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressants. More data are necessary to clarify the therapeutic role of adalimumab in UC. This review of the literature summarizes available data on the efficacy and safety profile adalimumab in patients with IBD.
anti-TNF-α; adalimumab; Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis
Infliximab is effective in improving signs and symptoms of joint/skin involvement, functional status, and quality of life in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Using IMPACT trial data, we assessed the effect of infliximab (IFX) on structural damage in PsA.
Patients with active PsA were randomly assigned to receive placebo (PBO/IFX) or infliximab 5 mg/kg (IFX/IFX) at weeks 0, 2, 6, and 14, with the primary endpoint at week 16. The PBO group received infliximab loading doses at weeks 16, 18, and 22. Thereafter, all patients received infliximab 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks through week 50. Hand/feet radiographs were obtained at weeks 0 and 50. Total radiographic scores were determined using the PsA modified van der Heijde‐Sharp (vdH‐S) score. Projected annual rate of progression was calculated by dividing x ray score by disease duration (years).
As reported previously, 65% of infliximab treated patients versus 10% of PBO treated patients achieved an ACR20 response at week 16 (p<0.001). At week 50, 69% of patients achieved an ACR20 response. Radiographs (baseline and week 50) were available for 72/104 patients. At baseline, estimated mean annual rate of progression was 5.8 modified vdH‐S points/year. Mean (median) changes from baseline to week 50 in the total modified vdH‐S score were −1.95 (−0.50) for PBO/IFX and −1.52 (−0.50) for IFX/IFX patients (p = NS). At week 50, 85% and 84% of patients in the PBO/IFX and IFX/IFX groups had no worsening in the total modified vdH‐S score.
Infliximab inhibits radiographic progression in patients with PsA through week 50.
infliximab; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; structural damage; tumour necrosis factor α
Episodic infliximab (IFX) treatment is associated with the formation of antibodies to IFX (ATIs) in the majority of patients, which can lead to infusion reactions and a shorter duration of response. Concomitant use of immunosuppressives (IS) reduces the risk of ATI formation.
Aims and methods
To investigate which of the IS—that is, methotrexate (MTX) or azathioprine (AZA)—is most effective at reducing the risk of ATI formation, a multicentre cohort of 174 patients with Crohn's disease, treated with IFX in an on‐demand schedule, was prospectively studied. Three groups were studied: no IS (n = 59), concomitant MTX (n = 50) and concomitant AZA (n = 65). ATI and IFX concentrations were measured in a blinded manner at Prometheus Laboratories before and 4 weeks after each infusion.
ATIs were detected in 55% (96/174) of the patients. The concomitant use of IS therapy (AZA or MTX) was associated with a lower incidence of ATIs (53/115; 46%) compared with patients not taking concomitant IS therapy (43/59; 73%; p<0.001). The incidence of ATIs was not different for the MTX group (44%) compared with the AZA group (48%). Patients not taking IS therapy had lower IFX levels (median 2.42 μg/ml (interquartile range (IQR) 1–10.8), maximum 21 μg/ml) 4 weeks after any follow‐up infusion than patients taking concomitant IS therapy (median 6.45 μg/ml (IQR 3–11.6), maximum 21 μg/ml; p = 0.065), but there was no difference between MTX or AZA. In patients who developed significant ATIs >8 μg/ml during follow‐up, the IFX levels 4 weeks after the first infusion were retrospectively found to be significantly lower than in patients who did not develop ATIs on follow‐up or had inconclusive ATIs.
Concomitant IS therapy reduces ATI formation associated with IFX treatment and improves the pharmacokinetics of IFX. There is no difference between MTX and AZA in reducing these risks. ATI profoundly influences the pharmacokinetics of IFX. The formation of ATIs >8 μg/ml is associated with lower serum levels of IFX already at 4 weeks after its first administration.
Reactivation of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is a major complication of anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α treatment, but its mechanism is not fully understood. We evaluated the effect of the TNF antagonists infliximab (Ifx), adalimumab (Ada) and etanercept (Eta) on anti-mycobacterial immune responses in two conditions: with ex vivo studies from patients treated with TNF antagonists and with the in vitro addition of TNF antagonists to cells stimulated with mycobacterial antigens. In both cases, we analysed the response of CD4+ T lymphocytes to purified protein derivative (PPD) and to culture filtrate protein (CFP)-10, an antigen restricted to Mtb. The tests performed were lymphoproliferation and immediate production of interferon (IFN)-γ. In the 68 patients with inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthropathy or Crohn's disease), including 31 patients with a previous or latent tuberculosis (TB), 14 weeks of anti-TNF-α treatment had no effect on the proliferation of CD4+ T lymphocytes. In contrast, the number of IFN-γ-releasing CD4+ T lymphocytes decreased for PPD (p < 0.005) and CFP-10 (p < 0.01) in patients with previous TB and for PPD (p < 0.05) in other patients (all vaccinated with Bacille Calmette-Guérin). Treatments with Ifx and with Eta affected IFN-γ release to a similar extent. In vitro addition of TNF antagonists to CD4+ T lymphocytes stimulated with mycobacterial antigens inhibited their proliferation and their expression of membrane-bound TNF (mTNF). These effects occurred late in cultures, suggesting a direct effect of TNF antagonists on activated mTNF+ CD4+ T lymphocytes, and Ifx and Ada were more efficient than Eta. Therefore, TNF antagonists have a dual action on anti-mycobacterial CD4+ T lymphocytes. Administered in vivo, they decrease the frequency of the subpopulation of memory CD4+ T lymphocytes rapidly releasing IFN-γ upon challenge with mycobacterial antigens. Added in vitro, they inhibit the activation of CD4+ T lymphocytes by mycobacterial antigens. Such a dual effect may explain the increased incidence of TB in patients treated with TNF antagonists as well as possible differences between TNF antagonists for the incidence and the clinical presentation of TB reactivation.
To determine the efficacy of subsequent disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapies after initial methotrexate (MTX) failure in patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA), treated according to the DAS for 2 years.
In groups 1 and 2 of the BeSt study, 244 RA patients were initially treated with MTX 15–25 mg/week. Patients who discontinued MTX because of insufficient clinical response (disease activity score, DAS >2.4) or toxicity were classified as “MTX failures.” In group 1, these patients switched to sulfasalazine (SSA), then leflunomide and finally to MTX + infliximab (IFX). In group 2, “MTX failures” added SSA to MTX, then hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), then prednisone, and eventually switched to MTX + IFX. “MTX successes” were patients who achieved a DAS ⩽2.4 after 2 years while still on MTX monotherapy. Total Sharp/van der Heijde score (TSS) progression from 0–2 years was assessed in “MTX failures” versus “MTX successes.”
After 2 years, 162/244 patients (66%) had discontinued MTX because of insufficient response or toxicity. Of these, 78% also failed on SSA (adding or switching), 87% subsequently failed on leflunomide (in group 1), and 64% on MTX + SSA + HCQ (in group 2). 34 of 48 patients (71%) in groups 1 and 2 were successfully treated with MTX + IFX. After 2 years, regardless of the “success” on subsequent DMARDs, “ MTX failures” had a median TSS progression of 3 units (mean 9) versus 1 unit (mean 3) in “MTX successes” (p = 0.007).
After failure on initial MTX, treatment with subsequent conventional DMARDs is unlikely to result in a DAS ⩽2.4 and allows progression of joint damage.
rheumatoid arthritis; methotrexate; DMARDs; joint damage
In recent clinical trials in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), the response criteria and disease activity measures that have been used were those developed for rheumatoid arthritis. However, these have not yet been validated in PsA.
To compare the responsiveness and discriminative capacity of the psoriatic arthritis response criteria (PsARC), American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria and the Disease Activity Score (DAS) and core‐set measures in patients with PsA and peripheral arthritis, using the data from two randomised placebo‐controlled trials of tumour necrosis factor inhibitors.
In an infliximab trial, 104 patients with active PsA were randomised to receive placebo or infliximab for 16 weeks. In an etanercept trial, 60 patients with active PsA were randomised to receive placebo or etanercept for 12 weeks. Data from baseline and the end of the intervention phase were used from each study. Responsiveness was assessed using the standardised response mean and effect size. Capacity to discriminate between the active drug and placebo was assessed using t values or a χ2 test. Measures were ranked in order of their t value or χ2 value.
The EULAR criteria performed better in discriminating the active drug from placebo than the ACR20 improvement criteria, which in turn performed better than the PsARC. It was also found that the pooled indices (DAS and DAS28) were generally more responsive, and performed better in discriminating active drug from placebo, than the single core‐set measures.
Response criteria and pooled indices developed for rheumatoid arthritis are useful for the assessment of arthritis in PsA clinical trials.
To compare the efficacy and safety of innovator infliximab (INX) and CT-P13, an INX biosimilar, in active rheumatoid arthritis patients with inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX) treatment.
Phase III randomised, double-blind, multicentre, multinational, parallel-group study. Patients with active disease despite MTX (12.5–25 mg/week) were randomised to receive 3 mg/kg of CT-P13 (n=302) or INX (n=304) with MTX and folic acid. The primary endpoint was the American College of Rheumatology 20% (ACR20) response at week 30. Therapeutic equivalence of clinical response according to ACR20 criteria was concluded if the 95% CI for the treatment difference was within ±15%. Secondary endpoints included ACR response criteria, European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria, change in Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28), Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Simplified Disease Activity Index, Clinical Disease Activity Index, as well as pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) parameters, safety and immunogenicity.
At week 30, ACR20 responses were 60.9% for CT-P13 and 58.6% for INX (95% CI −6% to 10%) in the intention-to-treat population. The proportions in CT-P13 and INX groups achieving good or moderate EULAR responses (C reactive protein (CRP)) at week 30 were 85.8% and 87.1%, respectively. Low disease activity or remission according to DAS28–CRP, ACR–EULAR remission rates, ACR50/ACR70 responses and all other PK and PD endpoints were highly similar at week 30. Incidence of drug-related adverse events (35.2% vs 35.9%) and detection of antidrug antibodies (48.4% vs 48.2%) were highly similar for CT-P13 and INX, respectively.
CT-P13 demonstrated equivalent efficacy to INX at week 30, with a comparable PK profile and immunogenicity. CT-P13 was well tolerated, with a safety profile comparable with that of INX.
To assess the long-term efficacy and safety of infliximab plus methotrexate in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).
Patients eligible for the open-label extension (OLE, weeks 52–204) received infliximab 3–6 mg/kg every 8 weeks plus methotrexate.
Of the 78/122 (64%) children entering the OLE, 42 discontinued infliximab, most commonly due to consent withdrawal (11 patients), lack of efficacy (eight patients) or patient/physician/sponsor requirement (eight patients). Infliximab (mean dose 4.4 mg/kg per infusion) was generally well tolerated. Infusion reactions occurred in 32% (25/78) of patients, with a higher incidence in patients positive for antibodies to infliximab (58%, 15/26). At week 204, the proportions of patients achieving ACR-Pedi-30/50/70/90 response criteria and inactive disease status were 44%, 40%, 33%, 24% and 13%, respectively.
In the limited population of JRA patients remaining in the study at 4 years, infliximab was safe and effective but associated with a high patient discontinuation rate.
Clinical trials registration number NCT00036374.
Several health authorities have recently revised the indication of infliximab (IFX) to include the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this systematic review of the literature was to appraise the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of early therapy with IFX.
We identified published clinical trials from 1966 to May 2006. We included randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in RA with disease duration of less than 3 years comparing the treatment of methotrexate-IFX (MTX-IFX) with methotrexate-placebo (MTX-placebo).
A total of 8 studies met inclusion criteria. Three studies reported redundant data regarding the vdH Sharp Score. Out of the 5 remaining studies, 4 analyzed structural joint destruction (vdH Sharp Score) and demonstrated a significant reduction in radiographic damage progression in favor of the combination of MTX-IFX compared with MTX-placebo (−4.1 vdH Sharp Score units (95% CI: 3.5; 4.6). Three studies also displayed a benefit of MTX-IFX on functional outcomes of RA (HAQ score) and disease activity measures (DAS, ACR response criteria), although less markedly.
Although data might be skewed because of only 2 existing large studies with concordant data, results from RCTs demonstrate improved efficacy of the combination MTX-IFX compared with MTX-placebo in early RA. However, many early RA patients probably do not require the addition of IFX to achieve a satisfying clinical and radiological course. So far, no evidence has established the superiority of MTX-IFX over MTX-prednisone or other combinations of traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents.
rheumatoid arthritis; antirheumatic agents; infliximab
Adalimumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeted against TNF-α, has proved to be successful in the treatment of uveitis. Another anti-TNF-α agent, i.e., infliximab, has been reported of benefit in the treatment of refractory sarcoidosis. The aim of this prospective case series was to evaluate the effect of adalimumab on intraocular inflammatory signs and other relevant clinical manifestations (lung function, serological inflammatory parameters, and fatigue) of sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis patients with refractory posterior uveitis (n = 26, 17 females, 41 eyes in total) were systematically followed for 12 months after initiation of adalimumab 40 mg sc once a week. Inclusion criteria were non-responsiveness to prednisone and methotrexate (MTX) or intolerance to these drugs. Adjunctive therapy with prednisone and MTX was tapered during treatment with adalimumab. Localization and improvement, stabilization or deterioration of intraocular inflammatory signs was scored. Pulmonary function- and laboratory testing were performed and Fatigue Assessment Scale was completed. Results at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months were compared.
Choroidal involvement resolved in 10/15 patients, five had partial improvement; vasculitis resolved in 1/1 patient; papillitis resolved in 7/8 patients, one had partial response; macular edema resolved in 5/8 patients, three had partial response; vitreous cleared completely in 5/5 patients. Overall outcome regarding intraocular inflammatory signs showed improvement in 22 patients (85%) and stabilization in four patients (15%). At 12 months, no recurrences were reported in those successfully treated. Laboratory parameters of inflammatory activity (C-reactive protein; serum angiotensin-converting enzyme and soluble interleukin-2 Receptor) improved (p < 0.01). Moreover, fatigue improved in 14/21 (67%) of the patients suffering from fatigue and the diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) improved in 7/8 (88%) of patients with a decreased DLCO (p < 0.01). The dosage of both prednisone and MTX could be tapered down significantly (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively).
Adalimumab appeared successful in sarcoidosis patients with refractory chronic non-infectious uveitis showing improvement in intraocular inflammatory signs as well as in other relevant clinical indicators of disease activity. Future randomized studies are needed to determine the optimal dosage, dose interval and duration of therapy in refractory multisystemic sarcoidosis.
Adalimumab; Anti-TNF-alpha treatment; Sarcoidosis; Uveitis; Medicine & Public Health; Ophthalmology
The human monoclonal antibody adalimumab is known to induce an anti-globulin response in some adalimumab-treated patients. Antibodies against adalimumab (AAA) are associated with non-response to treatment. Immunoglobulins, such as adalimumab, carry allotypes which represent slight differences in the amino acid sequences of the constant chains of an IgG molecule. Immunoglobulins with particular IgG (Gm) allotypes are racially distributed and could be immunogenic for individuals who do not express these allotypes. Therefore, we investigated whether a mismatch in IgG allotypes between adalimumab and IgG in adalimumab-treated patients is associated with the development of AAA.
This cohort study consisted of 250 adalimumab-treated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. IgG allotypes were determined for adalimumab and for all patients. Anti-idiotype antibodies against adalimumab were measured with a regular radio immunoassay (RIA), and a newly developed bridging enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure anti-allotype antibodies against adalimumab. The association between AAA and the G1m3 and the G1m17 allotypes was determined. For differences between groups we used the independent or paired samples t-test, Mann-Whitney test or Chi square/Fisher's exact test as appropriate. To investigate the influence of confounders on the presence or absence of AAA a multiple logistic regression-analysis was used.
Adalimumab carries the G1m17 allotype. No anti-allotype antibodies against adalimumab were detected. Thirty-nine out of 249 patients had anti-idiotype antibodies against adalimumab (16%). IgG allotypes of RA patients were associated with the frequency of AAA: patients homozygous for G1m17 had the highest frequency of AAA (41%), patients homozygous for G1m3 the lowest frequency (10%), and heterozygous patients' AAA frequency was 14% (P = 0.0001).
An allotype mismatch between adalimumab and IgG in adalimumab-treated patients did not lead to a higher frequency of AAA. On the contrary, patients who carried the same IgG allotype as present on the adalimumab IgG molecule, had the highest frequency of anti-adalimumab antibodies compared to patients whose IgG allotype differed from adalimumab. This suggests that the allotype of adalimumab may not be highly immunogenic. Furthermore, patients carrying the G1m17-allotype might be more prone to antibody responses.
Biologics targeting TNF have brought about a paradigm shift in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and infliximab, anti-TNF-α chimeric monoclonal antibody, was marketed in 2003 in Japan. We previously reported on the RECONFIRM study, a retrospective clinical study on the efficacy of infliximab therapy in a RA management group in Japan, where we evaluated the clinical response after 22 weeks of the therapy in 258 patients. The study reported here was aimed at reconfirming the clinical efficacy of the infliximab therapy and demographic factors related to the efficacy over a 54-week study period in 410 RA patients in the same study group. Infliximab was infused according to the domestically approved method, and the clinical response was evaluated following 54 weeks of infliximab therapy using the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria. Disease activity was assessed by DAS28-CRP (Disease Activity Score including a 28-joint count/C-reactive protein). Infliximab was discontinued in 24.4% of the 410 patients at 54 weeks and 9.3% and 8.1% discontinued the therapy due to adverse events and inefficiency, respectively. Average DAS28-CRP decreased from 5.5 at week 0 to 3.1 at week 54 after the therapy. Patients in remission and those showing low-, moderate-, and high-disease activity changed from 0.0, 1.0, 9.0 and 90.0%, respectively, at the start of the study to 27.6, 11.7, 34.4 and 26.3%, respectively, at week 54. Younger age, RF-negativity and low scores of DAS28-CRP showed significant correlations with remission at week 54. EULAR response criteria—good, moderate, and no response to infliximab—were 37.0, 41.7 and 21.2%, respectively. In conclusion, we reconfirmed the clinical efficacy of infliximab and demographic factors related to the efficacy over a 54-week study period in 410 Japanese patients with RA using DAS28-CRP and EULAR response criteria.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Infliximab; EULAR response; Retrospective study