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1.  Safety and Effectiveness of Palivizumab in Children at High Risk of Serious Disease Due to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection: A Systematic Review 
Infectious Diseases and Therapy  2014;3(2):133-158.
Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) is the leading cause of infant mortality globally in post-neonatal infants (i.e., 28–364 days of age). Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most commonly identified pathogen for infant LRTI and is the second most important cause of death in post-neonatal infants. Despite 50 years of RSV vaccine research, there is still no approved vaccine. Therefore, passive immunity with the monoclonal antibody palivizumab is the sole regulatory-approved option for the prevention of serious LRTI caused by RSV in pediatric patients at high risk of RSV disease.
We conducted a comprehensive systematic literature review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), open-label non-comparative clinical trials, and prospective observational studies/registries, and summarized the evidence related to the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of palivizumab.
The efficacy of palivizumab, as measured by the relative reduction in RSV-related hospitalization rate compared with placebo ranged from 39% to 78% (P < 0.05) in the 2 pivotal RCTs. A meta-analysis of the RSV-related hospitalization rate from 5 randomized placebo-controlled trials yielded an overall odds ratio of 0.41 (95% CI, 0.31–0.55) in favor of palivizumab prophylaxis over placebo (P < 0.00001). Low rates of RSV-related hospitalizations were observed in palivizumab recipients consistently over time in more than 42,000 pediatric subjects across 7 RCTs, 4 open-label non-comparative trials, and 8 observational studies/registries conducted in 34 countries. In addition, among palivizumab-prophylaxed subjects with breakthrough RSV LRTI, rates of intensive care unit admission and mechanical ventilation from RSV hospitalization also were low and consistent across studies. With respect to safety, no differences were observed between palivizumab and placebo in the blinded RCTs.
Rates of RSV hospitalizations and RSV hospitalization-related endpoints in pediatric subjects who received prophylaxis with palivizumab were low and constant over time and across RCTs, open-label non-comparative trials, and observational studies/registries.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40121-014-0046-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4269625  PMID: 25297809
Efficacy; Palivizumab; Respiratory syncytial virus; Safety; Serious lower respiratory tract infection; Systematic review
2.  Safety and effectiveness of adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis over 5 years of therapy in a phase 3b and subsequent postmarketing observational study 
Patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who had failed at least one disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) were treated with adalimumab (ADA) in the ReAct study with the option to continue treatment for 5 years in ReAlise. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of ADA as prescribed from the first injection in ReAct to the last observation in ReAlise.
Patients received ADA alone or in combination with DMARDs according to usual clinical care practices. Adverse events (AEs) were tabulated by five time windows after the first ADA injection. Effectiveness measures included achievement of low disease activity (LDA), defined as Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) ≤11, or remission, (REM), defined as SDAI ≤3.3.
Of the 6,610 ReAct patients, 3,435 (52%) continued in ReAlise. At baseline in ReAct, mean age was 54 years, mean DAS28 was 6.0 and mean HAQ DI was 1.64. The mean treatment duration was 1,016 days, representing 18,272 patient-years (PYs) of ADA exposure. Overall incidence rates of serious AEs and serious infections were 13.8 and 2.8 events (E)/100 PYs, respectively. Serious AEs occurred most frequently in the first 6 months and deceased thereafter. Standardised mortality ratio was 0.71 (95% CI 0.57 to 0.87) and standardised incidence ratio for malignancies was 0.64 (95% CI 0.53 to 0.76). LDA was achieved by 50% and REM by 21% of patients at last observation.
Results of this large observational study of ADA in routine clinical practice were consistent with controlled trials, with no new safety concerns during a follow-up of more than 5 years. Effectiveness of ADA was maintained during long-term observation.
Trial registration
NCT00448383, NCT00234884
PMCID: PMC3979145  PMID: 24460746
3.  Adalimumab alone and in combination with disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in clinical practice: the Research in Active Rheumatoid Arthritis (ReAct) trial 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(6):732-739.
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.
PMCID: PMC1954645  PMID: 17329305
adalimumab; rheumatoid arthritis; tumour necrosis factor; monoclonal antibody; antirheumatic agents
4.  An open-label pilot study of the effectiveness of adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and previous infliximab treatment: relationship to reasons for failure and anti-infliximab antibody status 
Clinical Rheumatology  2008;27(8):1021-1028.
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.
PMCID: PMC2468311  PMID: 18350329
Adalimumab; Infliximab; Rheumatoid arthritis; Treatment failure; Tumor necrosis factor antagonist
5.  HEGPOL: Randomized, placebo controlled, multicenter, double-blind clinical trial to investigate hepatoprotective effects of glycine in the postoperative phase of liver transplantation [ISRCTN69350312] 
BMC Surgery  2005;5:18.
Kupffer cell-dependent ischemia / reperfusion (I/R) injury after liver transplantation is still of high clinical relevance, as it is strongly associated with primary dysfunction and primary nonfunction of the graft. Glycine, a non-toxic, non-essential amino acid has been conclusively shown in various experiments to prevent both activation of Kupffer cells and reperfusion injury. Based on both experimental and preliminary clinical data this study protocol was designed to further evaluate the early effect of glycine after liver transplantation.
Methods / design
A prospective double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled multicenter study with two parallel groups in a total of 130 liver transplant recipients was designed to assess the effect of multiple intravenous doses of glycine after transplantation. Primary endpoints in hierarchical order are: peak levels of both aspartat-amino-transaminase (AST) and alanine-amino-transaminase (ALT) as surrogates for the progression of liver related injury, as well as both graft and patient survival up to 2 years after transplantation. Furthermore, the effect of glycine on cyclosporine A-induced nephrotoxicity is evaluated.
The ongoing clinical trial represents an advanced element of the research chain, along which a scientific hypothesis has to go by, in order to reach the highest level of evidence; a randomized, prospective, controlled double-blinded clinical trial. If the data of this ongoing research project confirm prior findings, glycine would improve the general outcome after liver transplantation.
PMCID: PMC1208918  PMID: 16105183

Results 1-5 (5)