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.
Objectives: To evaluate efficacy, dose response, safety, and tolerability of adalimumab (D2E7) in disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) refractory patients with longstanding, active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: During a 12 week, double blind, placebo controlled study, 284 patients were randomly allocated to receive weekly subcutaneous injections of adalimumab 20 mg (n = 72), 40 mg (n = 70), or 80 mg (n = 72) or placebo (n = 70) without concomitant DMARDs.
Results: Adalimumab significantly improved the signs and symptoms of RA for all efficacy measures. ACR20 responses with adalimumab were significant at each assessment versus placebo (p⩽0.01). Additionally, ACR responses with adalimumab were achieved more rapidly than with placebo, with 82/115 (71%) of the ultimate ACR20 response rate to adalimumab treatment achieved at week 2. At week 12, for adalimumab 20, 40, and 80 mg, ACR20 response rates were 50.7%, 57.1%, and 54.2%, respectively, versus 10.0% for placebo (p⩽0.001 for all comparisons); ACR50 rates were 23.9%, 27.1%, and 19.4%, respectively, versus 1.4% for placebo (p⩽0.001 for all comparisons); and ACR70 rates were 11.3%, 10.0%, and 8.3%, respectively, versus 0.0% for placebo (p⩽0.05 for all comparisons). All adalimumab doses significantly improved all ACR core criteria at all assessments. The 40 mg and 80 mg doses provided similar benefit. Adalimumab at all doses was generally well tolerated, with only mild or moderate adverse events. Completion rates were 87% for adalimumab and 67% for placebo.
Conclusions: Adalimumab given as monotreatment to patients with longstanding, severe RA refractory to traditional DMARDs produced a rapid, sustained response and was safe and well tolerated, with no dose limiting side effects.
To confirm the effectiveness and safety of the interleukin 6-receptor antagonist tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a setting close to real-life medical care in Germany.
A multicentre open-label phase IIIb study was undertaken. Patients with active RA with a 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28) >3.2 despite previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) were treated with tocilizumab 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks. The primary end point was the proportion of patients achieving LDAS ≤3.2 at week 24; secondary end points included American College of Rheumatology (ACR), European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) or Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) responses and decrease in acute phase. Analyses in subgroups such as rheumatoid factor (RF)-positive versus RF-negative patients and patients with an inadequate response to treatment with DMARDs (DMARD-IR) versus those with an inadequate response to tumour necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists (TNF antagonist-IR) were performed. Safety was assessed by adverse event documentation.
286 patients were treated and 83.6% completed the study. 41.6% had previously been treated with TNF antagonists. 57% of the intention-to-treat patients achieved the primary end point of LDAS, 47.6% achieved DAS remission <2.6 and a EULAR ‘good response’ was achieved by 54.9%; ACR50/70 response rates at week 24 were 50.7% and 33.9%, respectively. The mean±SD decrease in CDAI from baseline to week 24 was 71±29%. C reactive protein levels normalised rapidly within 1 week. Major improvements in fatigue, pain and morning stiffness were observed in the first 4 weeks and further improved until week 24. DAS28, EULAR and ACR responses at week 24 did not differ between RF-positive and RF-negative patients. TNF antagonist-naive patients responded better than patients who had previously failed on TNF antagonists. The safety profile of tocilizumab was comparable to that previously observed in the phase III trial programme. Serious infections were observed in 3.1% of patients.
Tocilizumab is highly effective in a setting close to real-life medical care with a rapid and sustained improvement in signs and symptoms of RA. A manageable safety profile was seen over the 24-week study period.
This prospective open-label pilot study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of adalimumab and the relationship to antibodies against infliximab (IFX) in adult patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had been treated previously with IFX and experienced treatment failure owing to lack or loss of response or intolerance. Patients self-administered adalimumab 40 mg subcutaneously every other week for 16 weeks, followed by maintenance therapy for up to Week 56. Measures of effectiveness included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria, 28-joint Disease Activity Score, and the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index. Serum IFX concentrations, human antichimeric antibody against IFX (HACA), adalimumab serum concentrations, antiadalimumab antibody, and safety also were assessed. Of the 41 enrolled patients, 37 completed 16 weeks and 30 completed 56 weeks of treatment. Patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements in all measures of RA activity, with greater response rates observed for patients who had experienced loss of initial response to or intolerance of IFX. At Week 16, 46% of patients achieved an ACR20 and 28% achieved an ACR50; 61% achieved an at least moderate and 17% achieved a good EULAR response. Clinical benefit was maintained through Week 56 in all effectiveness parameters. Baseline HACA status did not significantly impact effectiveness. No new safety signals were observed; neither former IFX intolerance status nor baseline HACA status had a clinically relevant impact on adverse event frequency or severity. Adalimumab was effective and well-tolerated in patients with RA who previously failed IFX therapy, irrespective of reason for discontinuation and of HACA status.
Adalimumab; Infliximab; Rheumatoid arthritis; Treatment failure; Tumor necrosis factor antagonist
To evaluate the safety and efficacy of tocilizumab in clinical practice in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with inadequate responses (IR) to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or both DMARDs and tumour necrosis factor α inhibitors (TNFis).
Patients—categorised as TNFi-naive, TNFi-previous (washout) or TNFi-recent (no washout) —received open-label tocilizumab (8 mg/kg) every 4 weeks ± DMARDs for 24 weeks. Adverse events (AEs) and treatment discontinuations were monitored. Efficacy end points included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) responses, 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28) and European League Against Rheumatism responses.
Overall, 1681 (976 TNF-naive, 298 TNFi-previous and 407 TNFi-recent) patients were treated; 5.1% discontinued treatment because of AEs. The AE rate was numerically higher in TNFi-recent (652.6/100 patient-years (PY)) and TNFi-previous (653.6/100PY) than in TNFi-naive (551.1/100PY) patients. Serious AE rates were 18.0/100PY, 28.0/100PY and 18.6/100PY; serious infection rates were 6.0/100PY, 6.8/100PY and 4.2/100PY, respectively. At week 4, 36.5% of patients achieved ACR20 response and 14.9% DAS28 remission (<2.6); at week 24, 66.9%, 46.6%, 26.4% and 56.8% achieved ACR20/ACR50/ACR70 responses and DAS28 remission, respectively. Overall, 61.6% (TNFi-naive), 48.5% (TNFi-previous) and 50.4% (TNFi-recent) patients achieved DAS28 remission.
In patients with RA who were DMARD-IR/TNFi-IR, tocilizumab ± DMARDs provided rapid and sustained efficacy without unexpected safety concerns.
To identify markers and mechanisms of resistance to adalimumab therapy, we studied global gene expression profiles in synovial tissue specimens obtained from severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients before and after initiation of treatment.
Paired synovial biopsies were obtained from the affected knee of 25 DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug)-resistant RA patients at baseline (T0) and 12 weeks (T12) after initiation of adalimumab therapy. DAS28-CRP (disease activity score using 28 joint counts-C-reactive protein) scores were computed at the same time points, and patients were categorized as good, moderate, or poor responders according to European League Against Rheumatism criteria. Global gene expression profiles were performed in a subset of patients by means of GeneChip Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays, and confirmatory immunohistochemistry experiments were performed on the entire cohort.
Gene expression studies performed at baseline identified 439 genes associated with poor response to therapy. The majority (n = 411) of these genes were upregulated in poor responders and clustered into two specific pathways: cell division and regulation of immune responses (in particular, cytokines, chemokines, and their receptors). Immunohistochemistry experiments confirmed that high baseline synovial expression of interleukin-7 receptor α chain (IL-7R), chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 11 (CXCL11), IL-18, IL-18 receptor accessory (IL-18rap), and MKI67 is associated with poor response to adalimumab therapy. In vitro experiments indicated that genes overexpressed in poor responders could be induced in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) cultures by the addition of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) alone, IL-1β alone, the combination of TNF-α and IL-17, and the combination of TNF-α and IL-1β.
Gene expression studies of the RA synovium may be useful in the identification of early markers of response to TNF blockade. Genes significantly overexpressed at baseline in poor responders are induced by several cytokines in FLSs, thereby suggesting a role for these cytokines in the resistance to TNF blockade in RA.
To evaluate the performance of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2010 classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with a systematic literature review and a meta-analysis.
PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and the abstracts of the ACR and EULAR meetings (2010–2012) were searched for original articles or abstracts with the following inclusion criteria: 1) recent onset arthritis, with at least one swollen joint and no alternative diagnosis; 2) the ACR/EULAR 2010 criteria as index test; 3) the prescription of methotrexate (MTX) or disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) at any time during follow-up as reference standard. Data were pooled using the bivariate model. Three meta-analyses were performed with MTX (primary analysis), DMARDs or their combination (secondary analyses) as reference standard. Heterogeneity was formally tested and explored performing an influence analysis.
The search identified 1,277 references. Six full papers and 4 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. With MTX as reference standard, sensitivity (95% confidence interval, CI) was 0.80 (0.74,0.85), specificity 0.61 (0.56,0.67), positive likelihood ratio (LR) 2.11 (1.92,2.32), negative LR 0.31 (0.25,0.38) and the diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) was 6.74 (5.49,8.28). Using DMARDs as reference standard, sensitivity was 0.73 (0.64,0.80), specificity was 0.74 (0.68,0.79), LR+2.85 (2.53,3.22), LR− 0.35 (0.27,0.45) and DOR 8.03 (6.4,10.09). Using the combination of MTX and DMARDs as reference standard, intermediate results were obtained. The influence analysis detected one potentially influential study. However, its exclusion from the meta-analysis did not have a clinically relevant impact on the results.
The new classification criteria have good sensitivity, lower specificity and an overall moderate diagnostic accuracy. These results confirm that the criteria have classificative and not diagnostic function.
Performance of the 2010 American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) criteria was analysed in an internationally recruited early arthritis cohort (≤16 weeks symptom duration) enrolled in the ‘Stop-Arthritis-Very-Early’ trial. This sample includes patients with a variety of diseases diagnosed during follow-up.
Two endpoints were defined: Investigators’ diagnosis and disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment start during the 12-month follow-up. The 2010 criteria were applied to score Patients’ baseline data. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and areas under the receiver operating curves of this scoring with respect to both endpoints were calculated and compared to the 1987 criteria. The optimum level of agreement between the endpoints and the 2010 classification score ways estimated by Cohen’s ϰ coefficients.
303 patients had 12-months follow-up. Positive predictive values of the 2010 criteria were 0.68 and 0.71 for RA-diagnosis and DMARD-start, respectively. Sensitivity for RA-diagnosis was 0.85, for DMARD-start 0.8, whereas the 1987 criteria’s sensitivities were 0.65 and 0.55. The areas under the receiver operating curves of the 2010 criteria for RA-diagnosis and DMARD-start were 0.83 and 0.78. Analysis of inter-rater-agreement using Cohen’s ϰ demonstrated the highest ϰ values (0.5 for RA-diagnosis and 0.43 for DMARD-start) for the score of 6.
In this international very early arthritis cohort predictive and discriminative abilities of the 2010 ACR/EULAR classification criteria were satisfactory and substantially superior to the ‘old’ 1987 classification criteria. This easier classification of RA in early stages will allow targeting truly early disease stages with appropriate therapy.
Arthritis; Early Rheumatoid Arthritis; Outcomes research; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Treatment
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been implicated in a number of arthritic disease states, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Adalimumab is the first fully human, high-affinity, recombinant immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) anti-TNF monoclonal antibody. Adalimumab in combination with methotrexate or standard antirheumatic therapies, or as monotherapy, is effective in the treatment of adults with active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Adalimumab is also effective in the treatment of patients with moderately to severely active psoriatic arthritis, improving both joint and skin manifestations of the disease as well as disability due to joint damage. In the Adalimumab Trial Evaluating Long-term Efficacy and Safety in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ATLAS), adalimumab significantly reduced the signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis and established a sustained clinical response in patients who had an inadequate response or intolerance to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug therapy. Overall, across these indications, adalimumab demonstrated a rapid onset of action, sustained efficacy with long-term treatment, and was well-tolerated, with few patients discontinuing treatment because of adverse events. The safety profile was similar to other TNF antagonists. Inhibition of TNF activity by adalimumab also significantly improved physical functioning and quality of life measures.
Adalimumab; TNF antagonists; rheumatoid arthritis; psoriatic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis
To investigate the expression and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases in patients with early arthritis who are disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) naïve.
A total of 50 patients with early arthritis who were DMARD naïve (disease duration <1 year) were prospectively followed and diagnosed at baseline and after 2 years for undifferentiated arthritis (UA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and 2010 ACR/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria), or spondyloarthritis (SpA). Synovial biopsies obtained at baseline were examined for expression and phosphorylation of p38, extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) by immunohistochemistry and digital analysis. Synovial tissue mRNA expression was measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR).
ERK and JNK activation was enhanced at inclusion in patients meeting RA criteria compared to other diagnoses. JNK activation was enhanced in patients diagnosed as having UA at baseline who eventually fulfilled 1987 ACR RA criteria compared to those who remained UA, and in patients with RA fulfilling 2010 ACR/EULAR criteria at baseline. ERK and JNK activation was enhanced in patients with RA developing progressive joint destruction. JNK activation in UA predicted 1987 ACR RA classification criteria fulfilment (R2=0.59, p=0.02) after follow-up, and disease progression in early arthritis (R2=0.16, p<0.05). Enhanced JNK activation in patients with persistent disease was associated with altered synovial expression of extracellular matrix components and CD44.
JNK activation is elevated in RA before 1987 ACR RA classification criteria are met and predicts development of erosive disease in early arthritis, suggesting JNK may represent an attractive target in treating RA early in the disease process.
Biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) extend the treatment choices for rheumatoid arthritis patients with suboptimal response or intolerance to conventional DMARDs. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the relative efficacy of EU-licensed bDMARD combination therapy or monotherapy for patients intolerant of or contraindicated to continued methotrexate.
Comprehensive, structured literature searches were conducted in Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library, as well as hand-searching of conference proceedings and reference lists. Phase II or III randomized controlled trials reporting American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria scores of 20, 50, and 70 between 12 and 30 weeks’ follow-up and enrolling adult patients meeting ACR classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis previously treated with and with an inadequate response to conventional DMARDs were eligible. To estimate the relative efficacy of treatments whilst preserving the randomized comparisons within each trial, a Bayesian network meta-analysis was conducted in WinBUGS using fixed and random-effects, logit-link models fitted to the binomial ACR 20/50/70 trial data.
The systematic review identified 10,625 citations, and after a review of 2450 full-text papers, there were 29 and 14 eligible studies for the combination and monotherapy meta-analyses, respectively. In the combination analysis, all licensed bDMARD combinations had significantly higher odds of ACR 20/50/70 compared to DMARDs alone, except for the rituximab comparison, which did not reach significance for the ACR 70 outcome (based on the 95% credible interval). The etanercept combination was significantly better than the tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors adalimumab and infliximab in improving ACR 20/50/70 outcomes, with no significant differences between the etanercept combination and certolizumab pegol or tocilizumab. Licensed-dose etanercept, adalimumab, and tocilizumab monotherapy were significantly better than placebo in improving ACR 20/50/70 outcomes. Sensitivity analysis indicated that including studies outside the target population could affect the results.
Licensed bDMARDs are efficacious in patients with an inadequate response to conventional therapy, but tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor combination therapies are not equally effective.
bDMARD; rheumatoid arthritis; etanercept; systematic review; network metaanalysis; comparative effectiveness
There have been substantial advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in recent years. Traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been shown to have small effects on the progression of radiographic damage. This quantitative overview summarizes the evidence for biologic DMARDs and radiographic damage either alone or in combination with methotrexate. Two outcomes were used (standardized mean difference and odds of progression). A total of 21 trials were identified of which 18 had useable data. For biologic monotherapy, tocilizumab, adalimumab, and etanercept were significantly better than methotrexate, with tocilizumab ranking first in both outcomes while golimumab was ineffective in both outcomes. For a biologic in combination with methotrexate compared with methotrexate alone, most therapies studied (etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, certolizumab, tocilizumab, and rituximab) were effective at slowing X-ray progression using either outcome, with infliximab ranking first in both outcomes. The exceptions to this were golimumab (no effect on standardized mean difference) and abatacept (no effect on odds of progression). This effect was additional to methotrexate; thus, the overall benefit is moderate to large in magnitude, which is clearly of major clinical significance for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and supports the use of biologic DMARDs in those with a poor disease prognosis.
rheumatoid; trials; meta-analysis; radiographs; biologic; disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; DMARDs
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.
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
Since current treatment options for patients suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remain inadequate, especially for those unresponsive to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), new and improved medication is needed. This study evaluates the safety and efficacy of masitinib (AB1010), a potent and selective protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor of c-KIT, in the monotherapy treatment of DMARD-refractory RA.
This was a multicentre, uncontrolled, open-label, randomised, dose-ranging, phase 2a trial. Masitinib was administered orally to 43 patients who had inadequate response to DMARDs, at initial randomised dosing levels of 3 and 6 mg/kg per day over a 12-week period. Dose adjustment was permitted based upon tolerability and response criteria. Efficacy was assessed via American College of Rheumatology 20%/50%/70% improvement criteria (ACR20/50/70) responses, disease activity score using 28 joint counts (DAS28), index of improvement in RA (ACRn) and C-reactive protein (CRP) improvement, relative to baseline at week 12.
Improvement was observed in all efficacy endpoints, including ACR20/50/70 scores of 54%, 26% and 8%, respectively, and a reduction in CRP level by greater than 50% for approximately half the population. This improvement was sustainable throughout an extension phase (> 84 weeks) and was also independent of initial DMARD resistance (anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha and/or methotrexate). A relatively high patient withdrawal rate (37%) required the use of last observation carried forward (LOCF) data imputation. Incidence of adverse events was high (95%), although the majority were of mild or moderate severity with a considerable decline in frequency observed after 12 weeks of treatment. Two nonfatal serious adverse events were reported. Dose-response analyses tentatively indicate that an initial dosing level of 6.0 mg/kg per day administered orally in two daily intakes is the most appropriate, based upon potency and tolerability trends.
Treatment with masitinib improved DMARD-refractory active RA. Following an initial high incidence of mostly mild to moderate side effects during the first 12 weeks of treatment, masitinib appears to be generally well tolerated. This, together with evidence of a sustainable efficacy response, suggests that masitinib is suitable for long-term treatment regimens. Since this was the first study of masitinib in a nononcologic pathology, the relatively high patient withdrawal rate observed can be partly attributed to a highly cautious response to adverse events. There is sufficient compelling evidence to warrant further placebo-controlled investigation.
To compare adalimumab versus etanercept in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to test the hypothesis that adalimumab was not inferior to etanercept in terms of drug continuation by a margin of 15% after 52 weeks of treatment.
Pragmatic, randomised, parallel group, multicentre, unblinded and non-inferiority trial. Randomisation stratified by baseline use of methotrexate.
125 adults with active RA despite treatment with two disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs), including methotrexate randomised (1 : 1) to adalimumab 40 mg alternate weeks or etanercept 50 mg weekly, added to existing medication.
The primary outcome was proportion of patients continuing treatment after 52 weeks. Secondary outcomes included: disease activity score using 28 joints (DAS28), treatment satisfaction (TSQM V.2), health status (Euroqol-5D), drug toxicity and persistence with therapy after 2 years.
Persistence with therapy was 65% for adalimumab versus 56.7% for etanercept (one-sided 95% CI for proportion still taking adalimumab minus proportion on etanercept ≥−7.9%); demonstrating non-inferiority at the 15% margin. After 2 years these figures were: adalimumab 58.3% and etanecept 43.3% (CI ≥−1.7%). The proportion of good, moderate and non-responders based on DAS28-C reactive protein, after 52 weeks, were 26.3%, 33.3% and 40.4%, respectively, for adalimumab versus 16.7%, 31.7% and 51.7%, respectively, for etanercept (p=0.158). Baseline median EQ-5D scores improved from 0.52 to 0.69 for adalimumab and from 0.52 to 0.64 for etanercept (p=0.046) after 52 weeks. Global satisfaction, effectiveness, side effects and convenience scores based on the TSQM were similar for both drugs. Fourteen serious adverse events occurred including two deaths from myocardial infarction, one patient with ovarian cancer and one with acute myeloid leukaemia.
Clinicians choosing a first tumour necrosis factor inhibitor for active RA, despite trying two DMARDs including methotrexate, may choose either adalimumab or etanercept in the knowledge that these drugs are similarly effective.
Clinical trial registration number
EU Clinical Trials Register 2006-006275-21/GB.
Tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) is a proinflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Treatment with TNFα inhibitors reduces disease activity and improves outcomes for patients with RA. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol 400 mg, a novel, poly-(ethylene glycol) (PEG)ylated, Fc-free TNFα inhibitor, as monotherapy in patients with active RA.
In this 24-week, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 220 patients previously failing ⩾1 disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) were randomised 1:1 to receive subcutaneous certolizumab pegol 400 mg (n = 111) or placebo (n = 109) every 4 weeks. The primary endpoint was 20% improvement according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) at week 24. Secondary endpoints included ACR50/70 response, ACR component scores, 28-joint Disease Activity Score Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate 3 (DAS28(ESR)3), patient-reported outcomes (including physical function, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), pain and fatigue) and safety.
At week 24, the ACR20 response rates were 45.5% for certolizumab pegol 400 mg every 4 weeks vs 9.3% for placebo (p<0.001). Differences for certolizumab pegol vs placebo in the ACR20 response were statistically significant as early as week 1 through to week 24 (p<0.001). Significant improvements in ACR50, ACR components, DAS28(ESR)3 and all patient-reported outcomes were also observed early with certolizumab pegol and were sustained throughout the study. Most adverse events were mild or moderate and no deaths or cases of tuberculosis were reported.
Treatment with certolizumab pegol 400 mg monotherapy every 4 weeks effectively reduced the signs and symptoms of active RA in patients previously failing ⩾1 DMARD compared with placebo, and demonstrated an acceptable safety profile.
Trial registration number:
To assess the efficacy and safety of low-dose prednisone chronotherapy using a new modified-release (MR) formulation for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
In this 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with active RA (n=350) were randomised 2:1 to receive MR prednisone 5 mg or placebo once daily in the evening in addition to their existing RA disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment. The primary end point was the percentage of patients achieving a 20% improvement in RA signs and symptoms according to American College of Rheumatology criteria (ie, an ACR20 response) at week 12. Changes in morning pain, duration of morning stiffness, 28-joint Disease Activity Score and health-related quality of life were also assessed.
MR prednisone plus DMARD treatment produced higher response rates for ACR20 (48% vs 29%, p<0.001) and ACR50 (22% vs 10%, p<0.006) and a greater median relative reduction from baseline in morning stiffness (55% vs 35%, p<0.002) at week 12 than placebo plus DMARD treatment. Significantly greater reductions in severity of RA (Disease Activity Score 28) (p<0.001) and fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue score) (p=0.003) as well as a greater improvement in physical function (36-item Short-Form Health Survey score) (p<0.001) were seen at week 12 for MR prednisone versus placebo. The incidence of adverse events was similar for MR prednisone (43%) and placebo (49%).
Low-dose MR prednisone added to existing DMARD treatment produced rapid and relevant improvements in RA signs and symptoms.
To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy compared with MTX combination with non-biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in adults with rheumatoid arthritis.
A systematic review of randomised trials comparing MTX alone and in combination with other non-biological DMARDs was carried out. Trials were identified in Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and ACR/EULAR meeting abstracts. Primary outcomes were withdrawals for adverse events or lack of efficacy.
A total of 19 trials (2025 patients) from 6938 citations were grouped by the type of patients randomised. Trials in DMARD naive patients showed no significant advantage of the MTX combination versus monotherapy; withdrawals for lack of efficacy or toxicity were similar in both groups (relative risk (RR) = 1.16; 95% CI 0.70 to 1.93). Trials in MTX or non-MTX DMARD inadequate responder patients also showed no difference in withdrawal rates between the MTX combo versus mono groups (RR = 0.86; 95% CI 0.49 to 1.51 and RR = 0.75; 95% CI 0.41 to 1.35), but in one study the specific combination of MTX with sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine showed a better efficacy/toxicity ratio than MTX alone with RR = 0.3 (95% CI 0.14 to 0.65). Adding leflunomide to MTX non-responders improved efficacy but increased the risk of gastrointestinal side effects and liver toxicity. Withdrawals for toxicity were most significant with ciclosporin and azathioprine combinations.
In DMARD naive patients the balance of efficacy/toxicity favours MTX monotherapy. In DMARD inadequate responders the evidence is inconclusive. Trials are needed that compare currently used MTX doses and combination therapies.
To carry out a meta‐analysis designed to compare the discriminant capacities of American College of Rheumatology 50% (ACR50) with 20% (ACR20) responses in clinical trials on rheumatoid arthritis reported after 1997 and to analyse whether ACR50 can be as informative as ACR20 in distinguishing active from control treatments in more recent trials.
Clinical trials on rheumatoid arthritis reported since 1997 were identified, which included aggressive combinations of disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs and glucocorticoids, as well as powerful new agents—leflunomide, etanercept, infliximab, anakinra, adalimumab, abatacept, tacrolimus and rituximab. A meta‐analysis of ACR20 compared with ACR50 responses for 21 clinical trials was carried out on differences in proportions of responders for active and control treatments and corresponding odds ratios (ORs).
In all but one clinical trial on rheumatoid arthritis published since 1997 with data available on ACR20 and ACR50, more than 50% of patients who were ACR20 responders among those randomised to active treatment were also ACR50 responders. This phenomenon was seen for control groups in 38% of trials, many of which included treatment with methotrexate. A meta‐analysis of the clinical trials indicated a slight advantage to ACR50 for quantifying treatment comparisons, not significant for differences in proportions but significant for ORs.
ACR20 and ACR50 seem to be similar in distinguishing active from control treatments in clinical trials on rheumatoid arthritis reported since 1997. As ACR50 represents a considerably stronger clinical response, ACR50 may be a preferred end point for contemporary clinical trials on rheumatoid arthritis.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of golimumab 50 and 100 mg monotherapy in Japanese patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
A total of 316 patients were randomised to receive subcutaneous injections every 4 weeks of placebo (group 1), golimumab 50 mg (group 2) or golimumab 100 mg (group 3); group 1 crossed over to golimumab 50 mg at week 16. The primary end point was the proportion of patients achieving ≥20% improvement in the American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) at week 14. ACR50 and ACR70 response rates were also measured. Adverse events (AEs) were monitored throughout the study.
Demographics were similar across groups; the mean age was 52 years and 81.8% of patients (252/308) were female. Week 14 ACR20 response rates were significantly greater in groups 2 (51/101 (50.5%)) and 3 (60/102 (58.8%)) than in group 1 (20/105 (19.0%); p<0.0001 for both), as were ACR50 and ACR70 response rates. After placebo crossover at week 16, week 24 ACR response rates were similar in groups 1 and 2. Through week 16, 63.8% of patients in group 1, 62.4% in group 2 and 60.8% in group 3 had AEs and 1.9%, 1.0% and 2.0% had serious AEs. After week 16, one malignancy was reported (breast cancer, group 3). Infections were the most common AEs. No deaths or cases of tuberculosis were reported through week 24.
Golimumab monotherapy (50 and 100 mg) was effective in reducing the signs and symptoms of RA in Japanese patients with active disease despite DMARD treatment.
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Anti-TNF; Treatment
To compare the effectiveness of adalimumab monotherapy and adalimumab and methotrexate (MTX) combination therapy in patients with established rheumatoid arthritis.
Data from an ongoing longitudinal observational study in Norway were used to compare response to treatment with two different adalimumab regimens (monotherapy, n = 84; combination with MTX, n = 99). Patients were assessed with measures of disease activity, health status and utility scores. Within‐group changes were analysed from baseline to follow‐up at 3 and 6 months and the changes were compared between groups after adjustment for the propensity score. The groups were also compared for the proportions of patients achieving European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) good response, Disease Activity Score (DAS)28 remission and treatment terminations.
The improvement from baseline was significant for all measures in the adalimumab and MTX group, but only for DAS28, joint counts, two Short‐form Health Survey with 36 questions (SF‐36) dimensions and patient's and investigator's global assessment in the monotherapy group. All between‐group differences were numerically in favour of combination therapy and significant for C reactive protein, joint counts, DAS28, Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire, investigator's global assessment, four SF‐36 dimensions and Short Form 6D at 6 months. More patients in the combination therapy group reached EULAR good response (p<0.001) and remission (p = 0.07). At 6 months, 80.8% of the patients in the combination therapy group and 59.5% in the monotherapy group remained on treatment (p = 0.002). More withdrawals in the monotherapy group were due to adverse events.
Our results were consistent across several categories of end points and suggest that adalimumab combined with MTX is effective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated in daily clinical practice and is superior to adalimumab monotherapy.
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), treatment with disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) frequently needs to be changed because of insufficient effectiveness.
To compare the clinical outcomes of two potential strategies for patients experiencing DMARD discontinuations related to ineffectiveness: switching to another DMARD or step‐up combination therapy of the present DMARD with a new one.
In a large observational database of 4585 DMARD courses in 1214 patients with RA, all patients who had experienced a change in treatment regimen were identified, and retention, effectiveness and safety of these subsequent treatment courses between the two strategies (switching vs step‐up combination). All analyses were stratified according to the type of the new DMARD into methotrexate (MTX), sulphasalazine (SSZ) or leflunomide (LEF); all other DMARDs were excluded.
Kaplan–Meier analysis for MTX courses showed no significant difference in overall retention rates between the strategies of adding MTX and switching to MTX (p = 0.49 by log rank test). Likewise, switching or adding did not result in significantly different retention rates for SSZ and LEF (p = 0.61 and 0.74, respectively). This similarity between strategies remained after adjusting for several confounding variables. The frequencies of treatment terminations related to ineffectiveness or toxicity were likewise similar between the two strategies for the MTX, SSZ and LEF groups. This was also confirmed by the similarity of erythrocyte sedimentation rates that were reached at the end of the two therapeutic strategies for all three drugs, in adjusted analysis.
Given all limitations of observational studies, the present data indicate that in situations of ineffective DMARD treatments, step‐up combination therapy using traditional DMARDs, such as MTX, SSZ or LEF, bears no clear clinical advantage over switching to the new DMARD. Our results do not implicate any predication about step‐up design including biologicals, where the benefit of combination therapy has been suggested convincingly.
To use power Doppler sonography (PDS) to evaluate changes in synovial perfusion induced by adalimumab in the wrist joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
48 wrists of 24 patients (18 women and 6 men) were examined. Despite prior treatment with disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs, including methotrexate, patients with clinically active rheumatoid arthritis were recruited in two rheumatological centres to receive 40 mg adalimumab subcutaneously every other week. Clinical, laboratory and PDS assessments were carried out at 0, 2, 6 and 12 weeks. Clinical and laboratory measurements of disease activity included physician's global assessment of disease activity, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and serum levels of C reactive protein. The Disease Activity Score for 28 joints (DAS28) was calculated. PDS signal was scored from 0 to 3 according to the overall expression of PDS findings at the wrists.
A significant reduction in both clinical (p<0.001) and PDS findings (p<0.001) was found at all follow‐up examinations. A tendency to positive correlation (Spearman's r = 0.382; p = 0.067) was shown between reduction in PDS score and improvement in DAS28 at week 2 examination.
PDS detected a rapid and significant reduction in synovial perfusion at the wrist joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving adalimumab. Ongoing follow‐up will provide further information regarding the persistence of considerable reduction in PDS signal score and its correlation with DAS28.
The cost effectiveness of treatments that have changed the “natural history” of a chronic progressive disease needs to be evaluated over the long term. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are the standard treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and should be started as early as possible. A number of studies have shown that they are effective in improving disease activity and function, and in joint damage. Our review was focused on revision and critical evaluation of the studies including the literature on cost effectiveness of DMARDs (cyclosporine A, sulphasalazine, leflunomide, and methotrexate). The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations showed that traditional DMARDs are cost effective at the time of disease onset. They are less expensive than biological DMARDs and can be useful in controlling disease activity in early RA.