Publications by authors named "Mark C Genovese"

145 Publications

Safety and Efficacy of Filgotinib: Up to 4-Year Results From an Open-Label Extension Study of Phase 2 Rheumatoid Arthritis Programs.

J Rheumatol 2021 Feb 1. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

A. Kavanaugh has received consulting fees from Gilead Sciences. R. R. Westhovens has received consulting fees from Celltrion, Galapagos, Gilead Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Roche. K. L. Winthrop has received consulting fees from Gilead Sciences, Galapagos, AbbVie, Lilly,and Pfizer. S. J. Lee, Y. Tan, D. An, L. Ye, and J. S. Sundy are employees of Gilead Sciences, Inc. R. Besuyen and L. Meuleners are employees of Galapagos NV. M. Stanislavchuk and A. J. Spindler report no disclosures. M. Greenwald, MD, has received consulting fees from Celgene, Bristol Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Lilly, Pfizer, AbbVie, Fuji, and Novartis. R. Alten has received consulting fees from Gilead Sciences and Galapagos.M. C. Genovese has received consulting fees from Galapagos, AbbVie, Lilly, Pfizer, and Gilead Sciences. A. Kavanaugh, MD, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California; R. R. Westhovens, MD, PhD, KU Leuven, Skeletal Biology and Engineering Research Center, Leuven, Belgium; K. L. Winthrop, MD, MPH, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon; S. J. Lee, MD, Y. Tan, PhD, D. An, PhD, L. Ye, PhD, J. S. Sundy, MD, PhD, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, California; R. Besuyen, MD, L. Meuleners, MS, Galapagos NV, Mechelen, Belgium; M. Stanislavchuk, MD, National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, Vinnytsya, Ukraine; A. J. Spindler, MD, Centro Medico Privado de Reumatologia, San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina; M. Greenwald, MD, Desert Medical Advances, Palm Desert, California; R. Alten, MD, Schlosspark Klinik, University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany; M. C. Genovese, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Division of Immunology & Rheumatology, Stanford, California, and Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, California. Address correspondence to: Prof. Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, Center for Innovative Therapy, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, #0943, La Jolla, CA 92093, US. E-mail:

Objective: The long-term safety and efficacy of filgotinib (from phase 2 studies), with or without methotrexate (MTX), for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis was assessed in DARWIN 3, a long-term, open-label extension study (NCT02065700).

Methods: Eligible patients completing the 24-week DARWIN 1 (filgotinib + MTX) and DARWIN 2 (filgotinib monotherapy) studies entered DARWIN 3, where they received filgotinib 200 mg/day, except for 15 men who received filgotinib 100 mg/day. Safety analyses were performed using the safety analysis set and exposure-adjusted incidence rate (EAIR) of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) was calculated. Efficacy was assessed from baseline in the parent studies.

Results: Of 790 patients completing the phase 2 parent studies, 739 enrolled in the study. Through April 2019, 59.5% of patients had received ≥4 years of study drug. Mean (SD) exposure to filgotinib was 3.55 (1.57) years in the filgotinib + MTX group and 3.38 (1.59) years in the filgotinib monotherapy group. EAIR per 100 patient years of exposure (PYE) for TEAEs was 24.6 in the filgotinib + MTX group and 25.8 in the filgotinib monotherapy group, and for serious TEAEs, the EAIR was 3.1 and 4.3, respectively. ACR20/50/70 responses among patients remaining in the study could be maintained through 4 years, with 89.3%/69.6%/49.1% of filgotinib + MTX group and 91.8%/69.4%/44.4% of monotherapy group maintaining ACR20/50/70 responses based on observed data.

Conclusion: Filgotinib was well tolerated with a 4-year safety profile comparable to that of the parent trials, both in patients receiving combination therapy with MTX or as monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3899/jrheum.201183DOI Listing
February 2021

Filgotinib versus placebo or adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and inadequate response to methotrexate: a phase III randomised clinical trial.

Ann Rheum Dis 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Janus kinase-1-preferential inhibitor filgotinib versus placebo or tumour necrosis factor-α inhibitor therapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite ongoing treatment with methotrexate (MTX).

Methods: This 52-week, multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled and active-controlled phase III trial evaluated once-daily oral filgotinib in patients with RA randomised 3:3:2:3 to filgotinib 200 mg (FIL200) or filgotinib 100 mg (FIL100), subcutaneous adalimumab 40 mg biweekly, or placebo (through week 24), all with stable weekly background MTX. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving 20% improvement in American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) at week 12. Additional efficacy outcomes were assessed sequentially. Safety was assessed from adverse events and laboratory abnormalities.

Results: The proportion of patients (n=1755 randomised and treated) achieving ACR20 at week 12 was significantly higher for FIL200 (76.6%) and FIL100 (69.8%) versus placebo (49.9%; treatment difference (95% CI), 26.7% (20.6% to 32.8%) and 19.9% (13.6% to 26.2%), respectively; both p<0.001). Filgotinib was superior to placebo in key secondary endpoints assessing RA signs and symptoms, physical function and structural damage. FIL200 was non-inferior to adalimumab in terms of Disease Activity Score in 28 joints with C reactive protein ≤3.2 at week 12 (p<0.001); FIL100 did not achieve non-inferiority. Adverse events and laboratory abnormalities were comparable among active treatment arms.

Conclusions: Filgotinib improved RA signs and symptoms, improved physical function, inhibited radiographic progression and was well tolerated in patients with RA with inadequate response to MTX. FIL200 was non-inferior to adalimumab.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02889796.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219214DOI Listing
January 2021

Diminished cytokine-induced Jak/STAT signaling is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and disease activity.

PLoS One 2021 14;16(1):e0244187. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, United States of America.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic and incurable autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation in synovial lining of joints. To identify the signaling pathways involved in RA, its disease activity, and treatment response, we adapted a systems immunology approach to simultaneously quantify 42 signaling nodes in 21 immune cell subsets (e.g., IFNα→p-STAT5 in B cells) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 194 patients with longstanding RA (including 98 patients before and after treatment), and 41 healthy controls (HC). We found multiple differences between patients with RA compared to HC, predominantly in cytokine-induced Jak/STAT signaling in many immune cell subsets, suggesting pathways that may be associated with susceptibility to RA. We also found that high RA disease activity, compared to low disease activity, was associated with decreased (e.g., IFNα→p-STAT5, IL-10→p-STAT1) or increased (e.g., IL-6→STAT3) response to stimuli in multiple cell subsets. Finally, we compared signaling in patients with established, refractory RA before and six months after initiation of methotrexate (MTX) or TNF inhibitors (TNFi). We noted significant changes from pre-treatment to post-treatment in IFNα→p-STAT5 signaling and IL-10→p-STAT1 signaling in multiple cell subsets; these changes brought the aberrant RA signaling profiles toward those of HC. This large, comprehensive functional signaling pathway study provides novel insights into the pathogenesis of RA and shows the potential of quantification of cytokine-induced signaling as a biomarker of disease activity or treatment response.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244187PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808603PMC
January 2021

Efficacy and safety of filgotinib in Japanese patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis: Subgroup analyses of a global phase 3 study (FINCH 2).

Mod Rheumatol 2021 Jan 18:1-16. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

First Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan.

Objectives: To evaluate efficacy and safety of filgotinib in Japanese RA patients who have failed or were intolerant to one or more biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARD) from the global FINCH 2 study (NCT02873936).

Methods: This subgroup analysis was performed using the predefined statistical analyses. The FINCH 2 study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 study in adult RA patients with inadequate response to bDMARDs. The randomized patients were treated with once-daily filgotinib 200 mg, filgotinib 100 mg or placebo on a background of csDMARDs for 24 weeks.

Results: Of 449 patients enrolled in the overall population, 40 patients were enrolled from Japan. In the Japanese population, the American College of Rheumatology 20% response rates at week 12 (primary endpoint) were 83.3% and 53.3% for filgotinib, 200 mg and 100 mg, respectively, vs 30.8% for placebo. Filgotinib was well tolerated, similar to the overall population.

Conclusions: Both doses of once-daily filgotinib 200 mg and filgotinib 100 mg were effective, and generally well-tolerated in Japanese patients with active refractory RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14397595.2020.1859675DOI Listing
January 2021

Interleukin-6 receptor blockade or TNFα inhibition for reducing glycaemia in patients with RA and diabetes: post hoc analyses of three randomised, controlled trials.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 09 9;22(1):206. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Metroplex Clinical Research Center and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: Diabetes is common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Interleukin (IL)-6 is implicated in both the pathogenesis of RA and in glucose homeostasis; this post hoc analysis investigated the effects of IL-6 receptor vs. tumour necrosis factor inhibition on glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in patients with RA with or without diabetes.

Methods: Data were from two placebo-controlled phase III studies of subcutaneous sarilumab 150/200 mg q2w + methotrexate or conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) and a phase III monotherapy study of sarilumab 200 mg q2w vs. adalimumab 40 mg q2w. Patients with diabetes were identified by medical history or use of antidiabetic medication (patients with HbA1c ≥ 9% were excluded from all three studies). HbA1c was measured at baseline and weeks 12/24. Safety and efficacy were assessed in RA patients with or without diabetes.

Results: Patients with diabetes (n = 184) were older, weighed more and exhibited higher RA disease activity than patients without diabetes (n = 1928). Regardless of diabetes status, in patients on background csDMARDs, least squares (LS) mean difference (95% CI) in change from baseline in HbA1c for sarilumab 150 mg/200 mg vs. placebo at week 24 was - 0.28 (- 0.40, - 0.16; nominal p <  0.0001) and - 0.42 (- 0.54, - 0.31; nominal p <  0.0001), respectively. Without csDMARDs, LS mean difference for sarilumab 200 mg vs. adalimumab 40 mg at week 24 was - 0.13 (- 0.22, - 0.04; nominal p = 0.0043). Greater reduction in HbA1c than placebo or adalimumab was observed at week 24 with sarilumab in patients with diabetes and/or baseline HbA1c ≥ 7%. There was no correlation between baseline/change from baseline in HbA1c and baseline/change from baseline in C-reactive protein, 28-joint Disease Activity Score, or haemoglobin, nor between HbA1c change from baseline and baseline glucocorticoid use. Medical history of diabetes or use of diabetes treatments had limited impact on safety and efficacy of sarilumab and was consistent with overall phase III findings in patients with RA.

Conclusions: In post hoc analyses, sarilumab was associated with a greater reduction in HbA1c than csDMARDs or adalimumab, independent of sarilumab anti-inflammatory effects. Prospective studies are required to further assess these preliminary findings.

Trial Registration: ClinTrials.gov NCT01061736: date of registration February 03, 2010; ClinTrials.gov NCT01709578: date of registration October 18, 2012; ClinTrials.gov NCT02332590: date of registration January 07, 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02229-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7488252PMC
September 2020

Immunogenicity of an adalimumab biosimilar, FKB327, and its reference product in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Int J Rheum Dis 2020 Nov 27;23(11):1514-1525. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Aim: This study, FKB327-003, is a phase 3, open-label extension (OLE) study comparing the long-term immunogenicity of an adalimumab biosimilar, FKB327 (F), with the reference product (RP).

Methods: In the OLE, patients completing 24 weeks of an initial randomized, double-blind (DB) study (Period 1) with clinical response and no safety concerns were rerandomized to F or RP, so that two-thirds of patients remained on the same treatment and one-third switched to the alternate treatment for weeks 24 through 54 (OLE weeks 0-30; Period 2), then all received F through week 100 (OLE week 76; Period 3). Treatment sequences were F-F-F (no switch), RP-F-F and RP-RP-F (single switch), and F-RP-F (double switch). Patients who entered the OLE study were evaluated for immunogenicity across switching sequences.

Results: The proportion of patients with positive antidrug antibody (ADA) status at the end of Period 1 was 61.7% and 60.0% for F and RP, respectively. The proportion of patients with positive ADA status did not increase throughout Period 1, and was similar for F and RP at all time points. At the end of Period 3, the proportion of patients with positive ADA status was lower in all treatment sequences, at 51.1%, 54.4%, 48.1%, and 42.5% for F-F-F, F-RP-F, RP-F-F, and RP-RP-F, respectively.

Conclusion: The RP and F showed comparable immunogenicity characteristics after long-term administration. Development of ADAs with the RP and F was similar, and was not impacted by switching and double switching between F and RP treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1756-185X.13951DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754138PMC
November 2020

Radiographic progression based on baseline characteristics from TNF inhibitor biosimilar studies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 08 14;22(1):188. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Samsung Bioepis Co., Ltd., Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Objective: Phase III clinical trials of the tumour necrosis factor inhibitors SB4, SB2, and SB5 (biosimilars to etanercept, infliximab, and adalimumab, respectively) have demonstrated efficacy in moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Data from these trials were used to identify baseline characteristics associated with radiographic progression and to build a matrix risk model for its prediction.

Methods: Patients with radiographic progression and baseline demographic and disease characteristic data were pooled across the 3 phase III studies of each biosimilar and its reference product. Baseline demographics and disease characteristics were evaluated for their relationship with radiographic progression (1-year mean change in mTSS > 0); 3 factors were selected based on strongest Pearson's correlation coefficient with the change in modified Total Sharp Score. Univariate logistic regression was performed to assess the association between each baseline factor and the rate of radiographic progression, with subsequent matrix model development performed using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: A total of 1371 patients were included in the analysis, with a radiographic progression rate of 27.4%. The 3 baseline predictors of radiographic progression, based on Pearson's correlation coefficient, were 28 swollen joint count (SJC28), C-reactive protein (CRP), and physician global assessment (PhGA). A matrix model showed that the predicted risk of radiographic progression was higher with the increased level of SJC28, CRP, and PhGA (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: In this pooled analysis of phase III clinical trial data of biosimilars for RA, identifiable baseline factors (SJC28, CRP, and PhGA) associated with radiographic progression were similar to those described in prior studies. Even though radiographic progression was minimal, a small number of patients who have increased SJC28, CRP, and PhGA at baseline should be closely monitored and follow treat-to-target approach.

Clinical Trial Registration Numbers: EudraCT 2012-005026-30. Registered 30 April 2013, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2012-005026-30/results EudraCT 2012-005733-37. Registered 10 July 2013, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2012-005733-37/results EudraCT 2013-005013-13. Registered 01 April 2014, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2013-005013-13/results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02267-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7427775PMC
August 2020

Infections in baricitinib clinical trials for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020 10 11;79(10):1290-1297. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Cochin Hospital, APHP and INSERM U-1153, CRESS Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France.

Objectives: To evaluate the incidence of infection in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with baricitinib, an oral selective Janus kinase (JAK)1 and JAK2 inhibitor.

Methods: Infections are summarised from an integrated database (8 phase 3/2/1b clinical trials and 1 long-term extension (LTE)) with data to 1 April 2017. The 'all-bari-RA' analysis set included patients who received any baricitinib dose. Placebo comparison was based on six studies with 4 mg and placebo to week 24, including four trials with 2 mg (placebo-controlled set). Dose-response assessment was based on four studies with 2 mg and 4 mg, including LTE data (2-4 mg extended set).

Results: There were 3492 patients who received baricitinib for 7860 patient-years (PY) of exposure (median 2.6 years, maximum 6.1 years). Treatment-emergent infections were higher for baricitinib versus placebo (exposure-adjusted incidence rate (IR)/100 PY: placebo 75.9, 2 mg 84.0 (p not significant), 4 mg 88.4 (p≤0.001)). The IR of serious infection was similar for baricitinib versus placebo and stable over time (all-bari-RA IR 3.0/100 PY). There were 11 cases of tuberculosis (all-bari-RA IR 0.1/100 PY); all occurred with 4 mg in endemic regions. Herpes zoster (HZ) IR/100 PY was higher for baricitinib versus placebo (placebo 1.0, 2 mg 3.1 (p not significant), 4 mg 4.3 (p≤0.01)); rates remained elevated and stable over time (all-bari-RA 3.3). Opportunistic infections, including multidermatomal HZ, were infrequent in the baricitinib programme (all-bari-RA IR 0.5/100 PY).

Conclusions: Increased rates of treatment-emergent infections including HZ were observed in patients with RA treated with baricitinib, consistent with baricitinib's immunomodulatory mode of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-216852DOI Listing
October 2020

Efficacy and safety of sarilumab in combination with csDMARDs or as monotherapy in subpopulations of patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis in three phase III randomized, controlled studies.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 06 10;22(1):139. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Free University and Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: The interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor sarilumab demonstrated efficacy in combination with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) or as monotherapy in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with an inadequate response (IR) or intolerant (INT) to methotrexate (MTX) or tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors. This analysis investigated the efficacy and safety of sarilumab in patient subgroups.

Methods: Data were included from phase III studies: two placebo-controlled studies of subcutaneous sarilumab 150/200 mg every 2 weeks (q2w) either + MTX in MTX-IR patients (52 weeks) or + csDMARDs in TNF-IR/INT patients (24 weeks), and a monotherapy study of sarilumab 200 mg q2w vs. adalimumab 40 mg q2w in MTX-IR/INT patients (24 weeks). Prespecified and post hoc subgroups included patient demographics, disease characteristics, and prior treatments. Prespecified and post hoc endpoints included clinical, radiographic, and physical function measures, and p values are considered nominal. Safety was assessed during double-blind treatment.

Results: The superiority of sarilumab (either as monotherapy vs. adalimumab or in combination with csDMARDs vs. placebo + csDMARDs) across clinical endpoints was generally consistent across subgroups defined by patient demographics, disease characteristics, and prior treatments, demonstrating the benefit of sarilumab treatment for a wide range of patient types. Interaction p values of < 0.05 were consistently observed across studies only for baseline anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA) status for American College of Rheumatology 20% response, but not American College of Rheumatology 50% or 70% response. Adverse events and worsening laboratory parameters occurred more frequently in sarilumab-treated vs. placebo-treated patients and were more frequent in the small number of patients ≥ 65 years (n = 289) vs. patients < 65 years (n = 1819). Serious infections occurred in six patients aged ≥ 65 years receiving sarilumab, although the incidence of serious infections was generally higher in patients aged ≥ 65 years regardless of treatment.

Conclusions: Apart from ACPA status, there were no consistent signals indicating differential effects of sarilumab in any of the subpopulations assessed. Sarilumab demonstrated consistent efficacy and safety across a wide range of patients with RA.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01061736, registered on February 03, 2010; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01709578, registered on October 18, 2012; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02332590, registered on January 07, 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02194-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7288435PMC
June 2020

Safety of ixekizumab in adult patients with plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis: data from 21 clinical trials.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 12;59(12):3834-3844

Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

Objectives: The aim of this integrated analysis is to evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of ixekizumab in adults with psoriasis, PsA and axial SpA.

Methods: Integrated safety data from 21 clinical trials are presented by indication in patients who received at least one dose of ixekizumab. Adverse events (AEs) and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) adjusted incidence rates (IRs) per 100 patient-years (PY) up to 5 years' exposure are reported.

Results: A total of 8228 patients with an ixekizumab exposure of 20 895.9 PY were included in this analysis. The most common TEAEs were nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection and injection-site reactions. Across populations, IRs were low for AEs leading to discontinuation (IRs ≤5.1 per 100 PY), serious AEs (IRs ≤6.0 per 100 PY) and death (IRs ≤0.3 per 100 PY). The most reported TEAEs of special interest were infections (IRs ≤35.8 per 100 PY). Patients rarely reported malignancies (IR ≤0.8), IBD including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (IR ≤0.8) and major adverse cardiovascular events (IR ≤0.5). TEAEs were most commonly reported the first 2 years of exposure with ixekizumab and IR decreased over the years (infections, injection-site reactions and depression) or remained constant over the entire treatment period (serious infections, major adverse cardiovascular events, malignancies and IBD).

Conclusion: This long-term analysis on the safety of ixekizumab was consistent with previously published reports and did not show any new safety signals. The safety profile and tolerability reported in this integrated analysis remained consistent with the known safety profile for ixekizumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7733711PMC
December 2020

Long-term safety, immunogenicity and efficacy comparing FKB327 with the adalimumab reference product in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: data from randomised double-blind and open-label extension studies.

RMD Open 2020 04;6(1)

University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Background/objective: FKB327 is a biosimilar of the antitumour necrosis factor adalimumab reference product (RP). A randomised, double-blind (DB) phase 3 study compared the efficacy of FKB327 with the RP in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inadequately controlled with methotrexate (MTX). A subsequent randomised open-label extension (OLE) study with treatment switching assessed long-term safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity of FKB327 compared with the RP.

Methods: Patients with moderate-to-severe, active RA on a stable dose of MTX were randomised 1:1 to receive FKB327 or the RP (40 mg subcutaneously every other week) for 24 weeks. Patients who completed the DB study were enrolled in the OLE and rerandomised 2:1 to receive FKB327 or the RP; two-thirds continued on the same treatment and one-third switched for 30 weeks. All patients received FKB327 through Week 76. Long-term efficacy, safety and immunogenicity were assessed.

Results: Of 728 patients in the DB study, 645 were enrolled in the FKB327-OLE study. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR)20 response rates for all treatment groups at Week 30 in the OLE ranged from 83.2% to 85.9%. ACR20 response rates remained stable for all patients regardless of single- or double-switching treatment and were similar for all treatment sequences through Week 76. The safety profile and incidence of antidrug antibodies were comparable across sequences.

Conclusion: Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity were similar among patients with RA treated with FKB327 or the RP for up to 2 years, and were not affected by single- or double-switching treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2019-000987DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7299509PMC
April 2020

Association of High Serum Interleukin-6 Levels With Severe Progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Increased Treatment Response Differentiating Sarilumab From Adalimumab or Methotrexate in a Post Hoc Analysis.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 09 25;72(9):1456-1466. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, New York.

Objective: The development of biomarkers to guide treatment decisions is a major research focus in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patients with RA have elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels; however, the utility of IL-6 as a predictor of treatment response is unclear. This study was undertaken to investigate, by post hoc analysis, whether baseline IL-6 levels are predictive of sarilumab treatment responses in 2 phase III studies.

Methods: Serum IL-6 concentrations were measured in patients with RA prior to receiving sarilumab 200 mg (n = 148) or adalimumab 40 mg (n = 152) every 2 weeks (in the MONARCH trial; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02332590) or sarilumab 150 mg, sarilumab 200 mg, or placebo every 2 weeks plus methotrexate (MTX) (n = 401, n = 396, and n = 397, respectively) (in the MOBILITY trial; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01061736). Efficacy and patient-reported outcomes were compared between and within groups according to IL-6 tertile using linear and logistic regression.

Results: In MONARCH, patients with high baseline IL-6 levels (all ≥3 times the upper limit of normal; n = 100) had higher disease activity at baseline than those with low IL-6 levels (n = 100). The magnitude of clinical improvement over 24 weeks with sarilumab versus adalimumab was greater in patients with high compared to those with low baseline IL-6 levels. In MOBILITY, compared to patients with low IL-6 levels (n = 397), patients with high IL-6 levels (n = 398) had higher disease activity and joint damage at baseline, were more likely to have joint progression, and had less clinical improvement over 52 weeks' treatment with placebo plus MTX compared to sarilumab 150 mg or 200 mg plus MTX. Baseline IL-6 and C-reactive protein levels were both predictive of outcomes. Safety profiles were similar between defined IL-6 tertiles.

Conclusion: IL-6 may be a prognostic marker of disease progression and severity, and patients with high IL-6 levels may be likely to benefit from sarilumab compared to adalimumab or MTX. Prospective validation is warranted to confirm the results of these post hoc analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496495PMC
September 2020

Fenebrutinib versus Placebo or Adalimumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Phase II Trial (ANDES Study).

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 Apr 9. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Objective: To evaluate fenebrutinib, an oral and highly selective non-covalent inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Patients with RA and inadequate response to methotrexate (cohort 1, n=480) were randomized to fenebrutinib (50 mg once daily, 150 mg once daily, 200 mg twice daily), 40 mg adalimumab every other week, or placebo. Patients with RA and inadequate response to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (cohort 2, n=98) received fenebrutinib (200 mg twice daily) or placebo. Both cohorts continued methotrexate therapy.

Results: In cohort 1, American College of Rheumatology scores (ACR50) at week 12 were similar for fenebrutinib 50 mg once daily and placebo, and higher for fenebrutinib 150 mg once daily (28%) and 200 mg twice daily (35%) than placebo (15%) (p=0.017; p=0.0003). Fenebrutinib 200 mg twice daily and adalimumab (36%) were comparable (p=0.81). In cohort 2, more patients achieved ACR50 with fenebrutinib 200 mg twice daily (25%) than placebo (12%) (p=0.072). The most common adverse events for fenebrutinib included nausea, headache, anemia, and upper respiratory tract infections. Fenebrutinib had significant effects on myeloid and B cell biomarkers (CCL4 and rheumatoid factor). Fenebrutinib and adalimumab caused overlapping as well as distinct changes in B cell and myeloid biomarkers.

Conclusion: Fenebrutinib demonstrated efficacy comparable to adalimumab in patients with an inadequate response to methotrexate, and safety consistent with existing immunomodulatory therapies for RA. These data support targeting both B and myeloid cells via this novel mechanism for potential efficacy in the treatment of RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496340PMC
April 2020

Comparative clinical efficacy and safety of the proposed biosimilar ABP 710 with infliximab reference product in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 03 26;22(1):60. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Metroplex Clinical Research, 8144 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: ABP 710 is being developed as a biosimilar to infliximab reference product (RP). Analytical similarity and pharmacokinetic equivalence between the two have been previously demonstrated. Here we report results from a comparative clinical study that evaluated the efficacy and safety of ABP 710 relative to the RP in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, 50-week equivalence study, patients with moderate to severe active RA despite methotrexate received 3-mg/kg infusions of ABP 710 or RP at predetermined intervals based on initial randomization and then with re-randomization at week 22. The primary endpoint was response difference (RD) of ACR20 at week 22, with clinical equivalence evaluated based on 90% CI of - 15%, 15%. Secondary endpoints included Disease Activity Score 28-joint count C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP), ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 across time, as well as safety and immunogenicity assessments.

Results: A total of 558 patients were randomized for the initial treatment (ABP 710 n = 279; RP n = 279). The estimated RD of ACR20 at week 22 was 9.37% with 90% CI (2.67%, 15.96%). The lower bound was within the pre-specified criteria, thus confirming non-inferiority; the upper bound exceeded the pre-specified criteria by 0.96% such that superiority could not be ruled out statistically. In a post hoc analysis with adjustment for random imbalance in baseline factors, the CI of RD was narrowed (0.75%, 13.62%). Changes from baseline in DAS28-CRP as well as ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 response rates across time and hybrid ACR evaluations were similar for the initial and initial/re-randomized treatment groups. Adverse events and incidence of anti-drug antibodies were similar between treatment groups.

Conclusions: These efficacy and safety results support similarity with no clinically meaningful differences between ABP 710 and infliximab RP. Although we were unable to statistically confirm non-superiority, post hoc analysis was supportive of non-superiority. DAS28-CRP, ACR20, ACR50, ACR70, and hybrid ACR evaluations over the entire study were consistently comparable as were safety and immunogenicity.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov. Identifier: NCT02937701. Registered August 30, 2016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-2142-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7098142PMC
March 2020

The road to rheumatoid arthritis prevention: challenges and opportunities.

Clin Rheumatol 2020 May 13;39(5):1379-1381. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Division of Rheumatology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most prevalent cause of chronic arthritis worldwide and contributes substantial health burden and socioeconomic costs, issues that are magnified by the aging population. Despite significantly improved outcomes in the management of RA with earlier diagnosis and advances in treatment, there is still no cure and disease prevention remains an area of intense interest. Studies examining different treatment regimens in varied subsets of patients with pre-clinical RA have been able to delay but not prevent onset of frank RA. In this timely issue of Clinical Rheumatology, Alpziar-Rodriguez D. and Finckh A. highlight the available literature on pre-clinical RA including modifiable risk factors, results of key intervention trials, and discuss whether prevention of RA is on the horizon. We offer additional thoughts on current areas of uncertainty in RA prevention studies, lessons to be learned from prevention trials in other disease states, and future directions to consider.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10067-020-05016-4DOI Listing
May 2020

Evaluation of hepatitis B virus in clinical trials of baricitinib in rheumatoid arthritis.

RMD Open 2020 02;6(1)

Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.

Background: Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication is a well-recognised complication in patients receiving disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Limited data exist on HBV reactivation among patients with RA treated with janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. The objective of the current study was to assess HBV reactivation in clinical trials of baricitinib, an oral selective JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor in RA.

Methods: Data were integrated from four completed Phase 3 trials and one ongoing long-term extension (data up to 1 April 2017) in patients naïve to DMARDs or who had inadequate response (IR) to DMARDs including methotrexate (MTX)-IR and/or other conventional synthetic DMARD (csDMARD)-IR, or tumour necrosis factor inhibitors-IR. Within the clinical programme, baricitinib-treated patients may have received concomitant csDMARDs including MTX, or previous treatment with active comparators including MTX or adalimumab + MTX. At screening, all patients were tested for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), core antibody (HBcAb) and surface antibody (HBsAb). Patients were excluded if they had (1) HBsAg+, (2) HBcAb+/HBsAb- (in Japan, could enrol if HBV DNA-) or (3) HBsAb+ and HBV DNA+. HBV DNA monitoring, following randomisation in the originating Phase 3 studies, was performed in Japan for patients with HBcAb+ and/or HBsAb+ at screening, and was later instituted globally for HBcAb+ patients in accordance with evolving guidance for HBV monitoring and management with immunomodulatory therapy.

Results: In total, 2890 patients received at least one dose of baricitinib in Phase 3 (6993 patient-years exposure). Of 215 patients with baseline serology suggestive of prior HBV infection (HbcAb+) who received a post-baseline DNA test, 32 (14.9%) were HBV DNA+ at some point following treatment initiation; 8 of 215 patients (3.7%) had a single quantifiable result (≥29 IU/mL). Of these eight patients, four met the definition of reactivation of HBV (HBV DNA level ≥100 IU/mL); baricitinib was permanently discontinued in four patients, and temporarily interrupted in two patients. No patient developed clinical evidence of hepatitis and in five of eight patients, antiviral therapy was not used.

Conclusion: HBV reactivation can occur among RA patients treated with DMARDs, including baricitinib, with prior HBV exposure. Our data suggest that such patients should be monitored for HBV DNA during treatment and might be treated safely with the use of antiviral therapy as needed. The risk of HBV reactivation in patients with HBsAg treated with baricitinib is unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2019-001095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7046961PMC
February 2020

Safety results of ixekizumab with 1822.2 patient-years of exposure: an integrated analysis of 3 clinical trials in adult patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 01 21;22(1):14. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Background: The long-term safety was assessed in patients with psoriatic arthritis who were treated with ixekizumab in three clinical trials (SPIRIT-P1/-P2/-P3).

Methods: Integrated safety data from three trials (controlled and uncontrolled), including two pivotal phase 3, randomized, double-blind clinical trials: SPIRIT-P1 and SPIRIT-P2, were assessed. Safety data were integrated from the all ixekizumab exposure safety population (defined as all patients receiving ≥ 1 dose of ixekizumab). We report exposure-adjusted incidence rates (IRs) per 100 patient-years (PY) at 1-year intervals up to 3 years for adverse events.

Results: Total exposure to IXE reached 1822.2 PY (1118 patients). The IRs/100 PY for the following treatment discontinuations were as follows: adverse events (5.3); serious infections (1.3); injection-site reactions (12.7); infections (34.2); and deaths (0.3). The IRs for treatment-emergent adverse events decreased or remained stable over time, the most common being upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, and injection-site reactions. The IRs for serious adverse events and serious infections remained stable over time, whereas for injection-site reactions and general infections, IRs decreased with longer ixekizumab exposure. Opportunistic infections were limited to oral and esophageal candida and localized herpes zoster. No suicide or self-injury-related behaviors were reported. The IRs/100 PY for safety topics of special interest included inflammatory bowel disease (adjudicated; 0.1), depression (1.6), malignancies (0.7), and major adverse cardiovascular events (0.6).

Conclusions: The findings of this integrated safety analysis in patients with psoriatic arthritis are consistent with the known safety profile of ixekizumab. No unexpected safety signals were observed with ixekizumab treatment in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Trial Registration: SPIRIT-P1 (NCT01695239; Registered August 08, 2012), SPIRIT-P2 (NCT02349295; September 23, 2014), and SPIRIT-P3 (NCT02584855; August 04, 2015).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-2099-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6975022PMC
January 2020

Pooled analysis of TNF inhibitor biosimilar studies comparing radiographic progression by disease activity states in rheumatoid arthritis.

RMD Open 2020 01;6(1)

Samsung Bioepis Co Ltd, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Objective: To evaluate the relationship between disease activity and radiographic progression in rheumatoid arthritis, three phase III studies of SB4, SB2 and SB5 (biosimilars of etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab) were pooled to assess radiographic progression by disease activity status.

Methods: Patients from each study with radiographic data were pooled and grouped based on disease activity state (remission, low disease activity (LDA), moderate disease activity (MDA) and high disease activity (HDA)), determined by disease activity score based on 28-joint count (DAS28) per erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) and Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) at different time points. Mean change in modified Total Sharp Score (mTSS) and the proportion of radiographic non-progressors of higher disease activity groups (LDA, MDA and HDA) in reference to remission were summarised descriptively, with comparison of ORs using logistic models.

Results: 1265 patients were included. In all treatments combined, the 1 year mean change in mTSS was 0.03, 0.4, 0.3 and 1.3 and proportion of radiographic non-progressors was 79.8%, 78.1%, 74.1% and 58.4% in the week 24/30 DAS28-determined remission, LDA, MDA and HDA groups, respectively. ORs (95% CIs) of the proportion of non-progressors were lowest in the HDA group in reference to remission (0.35 (0.23 to 0.54)), followed by MDA (0.72 (0.50 to 1.05)) and LDA (0.90 (0.55 to 1.48)) groups. Similar trends were observed when disease activity was assessed using SDAI or CDAI.

Conclusion: A pooled analysis of radiographic assessment data from three biosimilar studies showed that radiographic progression is small overall but increases with worse disease activity.

Trial Registration Numbers: NCT01895309, NCT01936181 and NCT02167139.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2019-001096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6999676PMC
January 2020

FKB327, an adalimumab biosimilar, versus the reference product: results of a randomized, Phase III, double-blind study, and its open-label extension.

Arthritis Res Ther 2019 12 12;21(1):281. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Schlosspark-Klinik, University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Objective: To compare the efficacy, serum drug concentrations, immunogenicity, and safety of FKB327 with the adalimumab reference product (RP) in combination with methotrexate in patients with moderate-to-severe, active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Patients were randomized 1:1 in a double-blind study (NCT02260791), received 40 mg of FKB327 or RP by subcutaneous injection every other week for 24 weeks (Period I), then re-randomized 2:1, remaining on the same study drug or switching to the other up to week 54 in an open-label extension (Period II, NCT02405780). Efficacy was evaluated using American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) response rate difference at week 24 with equivalence margins of ± 13% and - 12% to + 15% using 95% and 90% confidence intervals (CIs), respectively. Efficacy, serum drug concentrations, immunogenicity, and safety were compared at week 54.

Results: A total of 730 patients were randomized in Period I (n = 367 FKB327, n = 363 RP), and 645 transitioned to Period II (n = 216 FKB327-FKB327, n = 108 FKB327-RP, n = 108 RP-FKB327, n = 213 RP-RP). At week 24, ACR20 response rates were 74.1% with FKB327 versus 75.7% with RP. 95% and 90% CI of the response rate difference were - 7.9 to 4.7% and - 7.3 to 3.6%, respectively, meeting predefined equivalence margins. The ACR20 response rate remained over 70% of patients to week 54 with all treatment sequences. In Period I, mean trough serum drug concentrations were slightly higher for patients receiving FKB327 than those receiving RP. Mean concentrations were stable over time and reflected steady state in Period II. The proportions of patients with samples positive for neutralizing antidrug antibodies (ADAs) were comparable (57.7% with FKB327 vs. 55.5% with RP) at week 24, and no consistent difference in ADA were seen between continuous and switched treatments in Period II. Efficacy was slightly reduced in the small proportion of patients with high ADA titers in all treatment groups. No clinically significant differences were observed in the incidence of commonly reported treatment-emergent adverse events between the treatments across Periods I and II.

Conclusion: FKB327 was equivalent to RP in clinical efficacy and demonstrated comparable safety and immunogenicity in patients with moderate-to-severe RA. No effect of switching between FKB327 and RP was observed.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02260791, Registered 29 July 2014. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02405780, Registered 17 July 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-019-2046-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6909638PMC
December 2019

TNF-alpha inhibition for the treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis.

Semin Arthritis Rheum 2020 06 15;50(3):546-552. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University, United States; Department of Health Research and Policy, Division of Epidemiology, Stanford University, United States.

Background: Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors are increasingly being used for treating refractory cardiac sarcoidosis. There is a theoretical risk, however, that these therapies can worsen heart failure, and reports on efficacy and safety are lacking.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all cardiac sarcoidosis patients seen at Stanford University from 2009 to 2018. Data were collected on patient demographics, diagnostic testing, and treatment outcomes.

Results: We identified 77 cardiac sarcoidosis patients, of which 20 (26%) received TNF-α inhibitor treatment. The majority were treated for progressive heart failure or tachyarrhythmia, along with worsening imaging findings. All TNF-α inhibitor treated patients demonstrated meaningful benefit, as assessed by changes in advanced imaging, echocardiographic measures of cardiac function, and prednisone use.

Conclusions: A large cohort (n = 77) of cardiac sarcoidosis patients has been treated at Stanford University. Roughly one-fourth of these patients (n = 20) received TNF-α inhibitors. Of these patients, none had worsening heart failure and all saw clinical benefit. These results help support the use of TNF-α inhibitors for the treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis based on real-world evidence and highlight the need for future prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semarthrit.2019.11.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225041PMC
June 2020

Safety and efficacy of switching from adalimumab to sarilumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the ongoing MONARCH open-label extension.

RMD Open 2019 18;5(2):e001017. Epub 2019 Oct 18.

Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, California, USA.

Objective: Evaluate open-label sarilumab monotherapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis switching from adalimumab monotherapy in MONARCH (NCT02332590); assess long-term safety and efficacy in patients continuing sarilumab during open-label extension (OLE).

Methods: During the 48-week OLE, patients received sarilumab 200 mg subcutaneously once every 2 weeks. Safety (March 2017 cut-off) and efficacy, including patient-reported outcomes, were evaluated.

Results: In the double-blind phase, patients receiving sarilumab or adalimumab monotherapy showed meaningful improvements in disease activity; sarilumab was superior to adalimumab for improving signs, symptoms and physical function. Overall, 320/369 patients completing the 24-week double-blind phase entered OLE (155 switched from adalimumab; 165 continued sarilumab). Sarilumab safety profile was consistent with previous reports. Treatment-emergent adverse events were similar between groups; no unexpected safety signals emerged in the first 10 weeks postswitch. Among switch patients, improvement in disease activity was evident at OLE week 12: 47.1%/34.8% had changes ≥1.2 in Disease Activity Score (28 joints) (DAS28)-erythrocyte sedimentation rate/DAS28-C-reactive protein. In switch patients achieving low disease activity (LDA: Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) ≤10; Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) ≤11) by OLE week 24, 70.7%/69.5% sustained CDAI/SDAI LDA at both OLE weeks 36 and 48. Proportions of switch patients achieving CDAI ≤2.8 and SDAI ≤3.3 by OLE week 24 increased through OLE week 48. Improvements postswitch approached continuation-group values, including scores ≥normative values.

Conclusions: During this OLE, there were no unexpected safety issues in patients switching from adalimumab to sarilumab monotherapy, and disease activity improved in many patients. Patients continuing sarilumab reported safety consistent with prolonged use and had sustained benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2019-001017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6802992PMC
April 2020

Unique Sjögren's syndrome patient subsets defined by molecular features.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 04;59(4):860-868

Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Objective: To address heterogeneity complicating primary SS (pSS) clinical trials, research and care by characterizing and clustering patients by their molecular phenotypes.

Methods: pSS patients met American-European Consensus Group classification criteria and had at least one systemic manifestation and stimulated salivary flow of ⩾0.1 ml/min. Correlated transcriptional modules were derived from gene expression microarray data from blood (n = 47 with appropriate samples). Patients were clustered based on this molecular information using an unbiased random forest modelling approach. In addition, multiplex, bead-based assays and ELISAs were used to assess 30 serum cytokines, chemokines and soluble receptors. Eleven autoantibodies, including anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB, were measured by Bio-Rad Bioplex 2200.

Results: Transcriptional modules distinguished three clusters of pSS patients. Cluster 1 showed no significant elevation of IFN or inflammation modules. Cluster 2 showed strong IFN and inflammation modular network signatures, as well as high plasma protein levels of IP-10/CXCL10, MIG/CXCL9, BLyS (BAFF) and LIGHT. Cluster 3 samples exhibited moderately elevated IFN modules, but with suppressed inflammatory modules, increased IP-10/CXCL10 and B cell-attracting chemokine 1/CXCL13 and trends toward increased MIG/CXCL9, IL-1α, and IL-21. Anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB were present in all three clusters.

Conclusion: Molecular profiles encompassing IFN, inflammation and other signatures can be used to separate patients with pSS into distinct clusters. In the future, such profiles may inform patient selection for clinical trials and guide treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7188221PMC
April 2020

Long-term safety and efficacy of sarilumab plus methotrexate on disease activity, physical function and radiographic progression: 5 years of sarilumab plus methotrexate treatment.

RMD Open 2019 1;5(2):e000887. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Objective: In MOBILITY (NCT01061736), sarilumab significantly reduced disease activity, improved physical function and inhibited radiographic progression at week 52 versus placebo in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an inadequate response to methotrexate. We report 5-year safety, efficacy and radiographic outcomes of sarilumab from NCT01061736 and the open-label extension (EXTEND; NCT01146652), in which patients received sarilumab 200 mg every 2 weeks (q2w) + methotrexate.

Methods: Patients (n=1197) with moderately to severely active RA were initially randomised to placebo, sarilumab 150 mg or sarilumab 200 mg subcutaneously q2w plus weekly methotrexate for 52 weeks. Completers were eligible to enrol in the open-label extension and receive sarilumab 200 mg q2w + methotrexate.

Results: Overall, 901 patients entered the open-label extension. The safety profile remained stable over 5-year follow-up and consistent with interleukin-6 receptor blockade. Absolute neutrophil count <1000 cells/mm was observed but not associated with increased infection rate. Initial treatment with sarilumab 200 mg + methotrexate was associated with reduced radiographic progression over 5 years versus sarilumab 150 mg + methotrexate or placebo + methotrexate (mean±SE change from baseline in van der Heijde-modified Total Sharp Score: 1.46±0.27, 2.35±0.28 and 3.68±0.27, respectively (p<0.001 for each sarilumab dose versus placebo)). Clinical efficacy was sustained through 5 years according to Disease Activity Score (28-joint count) using C reactive protein, Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index. The number of patients achieving CDAI ≤2.8 at 5 years was similar among initial randomisation groups (placebo, 76/398 (19%); sarilumab 150 mg, 68/400 (17%); sarilumab 200 mg, 84/399 (21%)).

Conclusion: Clinical efficacy, including inhibition of radiographic progression, reduction in disease activity and improvement in physical function, was sustained with sarilumab + methotrexate over 5 years. Safety appeared stable over the 5-year period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2018-000887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691511PMC
April 2020

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

Rheumatol Ther 2019 Dec 13;6(4):503-520. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Altoona Center for Clinical Research, Duncansville, PA, USA.

Introduction: Peficitinib is a novel orally bioavailable, once-daily Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved in Japan for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This 2-year extension study of two global phase IIb trials investigated the long-term safety and effectiveness of peficitinib.

Methods: All eligible patients with moderate-to-severe RA including patients in the placebo group who participated in one of two global phase IIb trials ('with methotrexate' or 'without methotrexate') were included in this 2-year open-label extension study and were converted to peficitinib 100 mg once daily. The primary objective was to evaluate an additional 2 years of safety by assessing treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) and clinical laboratory evaluations for 105 weeks. Evaluation of an additional 2 years of effectiveness using American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20/50/70 responses was the exploratory objective.

Results: Overall, 611 patients were enrolled in the extension study: 319 (52.2%) patients completed the study and 292 (48%) discontinued treatment, including for withdrawal of patient consent (n = 96), failure to achieve low disease activity (n = 62), and AE not including death (n = 41). AEs were reported in 463 (76%) patients. The most common AEs (per 100 patient-years) were upper respiratory tract infections (9.9) and urinary tract infections (7.2). Serious AEs were reported in 80 (13%) patients, with incidences per 100 patient-years of serious infections 2.7, herpes zoster 1.5 (including one herpes zoster ophthalmic), and malignancies 0.6 (most frequently basal cell carcinoma). At week 105, 269 (44%) patients demonstrated an ACR20 response relative to their respective phase IIb trial baselines.

Conclusion: Among 319 patients who completed this 2-year extension of two global phase IIb studies, peficitinib 100 mg once daily demonstrated a stable safety profile and sustained effectiveness in patients with moderate-to-severe RA.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT01711814. Registered 19 October 2012.

Funding: Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40744-019-00167-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6858430PMC
December 2019

Patient Perceptions of Unmet Medical Need in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Cross-Sectional Survey in the USA.

Rheumatol Ther 2019 Sep 6;6(3):461-471. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.

Introduction: Many rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients do not achieve their treatment goals and experience symptoms that affect psychosocial outcomes and daily activities. This study aimed to identify and quantify the unmet needs perceived by US patients with RA currently taking a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD).

Methods: A cross-sectional, web-based survey was conducted with RA patients recruited through CreakyJoints, an online patient support community, and ArthritisPower, an online patient research registry, from December 2017 to January 2018. Participant patients were aged ≥ 21 years, failed ≥ 1 DMARDs, and were receiving their current DMARD(s) for ≥ 6 months; they answered 50 questions about treatment history, RA symptoms, and flares and completed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Impact of Disease (RAID) questionnaire and the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM). Treatment satisfaction was defined by a TSQM global satisfaction score ≥ 80.

Results: Of 415 patients screened, 258 (62%) were eligible and completed the survey; 87% were women, and 87% white, with mean (SD) age of 54.5 (11.4) years. A total of 232 patients (90%) had current or past biologic DMARD (bDMARD) use, with 67% currently on a bDMARD, 65% on ≥ 1 conventional synthetic DMARD, and 40% on methotrexate. Forty-three percent of patients reported daily/almost daily use of prescription pain medications, and 44% reported a current flare. Mean (SD) TSQM scores were 59 [20] for effectiveness, 59 [26] for side effects, 72 [18] for convenience, and 65 [21] for global satisfaction. The mean (SD) RAID overall score was 5.1 (2.0) on a 0-10 scale. Only 26% (67 patients) were satisfied with their RA treatment. Patients not satisfied with treatment reported higher RAID scores overall and by domain, and approximately half reported a current flare.

Conclusions: Results from this real-world survey suggest that three-fourths of RA patients are not satisfied with treatments, which include bDMARDs. Patients continued to experience bothersome symptoms that impacted their daily activities and life. There remains a need for improved disease management among currently treated RA patients.

Funding: Eli Lilly and Company (Indianapolis, IN, USA).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40744-019-00168-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702617PMC
September 2019

Safety and effectiveness of upadacitinib or adalimumab plus methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis over 48 weeks with switch to alternate therapy in patients with insufficient response.

Ann Rheum Dis 2019 11 30;78(11):1454-1462. Epub 2019 Jul 30.

Immunology Clinical Development, Abbvie Inc, North Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Background: In SELECT-COMPARE, a randomised double-blind study, upadacitinib 15 mg once daily was superior to placebo or adalimumab on background methotrexate (MTX) for treating rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms and inhibited radiographical progression versus placebo at 26 weeks. Here we report 48-week safety and efficacy in patients who continued their original medication or were rescued to the alternative medication for insufficient response.

Methods: Patients on MTX received upadacitinib 15 mg, placebo or adalimumab for 48 weeks. Rescue without washout, from placebo or adalimumab to upadacitinib or upadacitinib to adalimumab occurred if patients had <20% improvement in tender joint count (TJC) or swollen joint count (SJC) (weeks 14/18/22) or Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) >10 (week 26); remaining placebo patients were switched to upadacitinib at week 26. Efficacy was analysed by randomised group (non-responder imputation), as well as separately for rescued patients (as observed). Treatment-emergent adverse events per 100 patient-years were summarised.

Results: Consistent with responses through week 26, from weeks 26 to 48, responses by randomised group including low disease activity, clinical remission and improvements in pain and function remained superior for upadacitinib versus adalimumab; radiographical progression remained lower for upadacitinib versus placebo (linear extrapolation). Although both switch groups responded, a higher proportion of patients rescued to upadacitinib from adalimumab achieved CDAI ≤10 at 6 months postswitch versus patients rescued from upadacitinib to adalimumab. Safety at week 48 was comparable to week 26.

Conclusion: Upadacitinib+MTX demonstrated superior clinical and functional responses versus adalimumab+MTX and maintained inhibition of structural damage versus placebo+MTX through week 48. Patients with an insufficient response to adalimumab or upadacitinib safely achieved clinically meaningful responses after switching to the alternative medication without washout.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-215764DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837258PMC
November 2019

Effect of Filgotinib vs Placebo on Clinical Response in Patients With Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Refractory to Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug Therapy: The FINCH 2 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2019 07;322(4):315-325

Division of Rheumatology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Importance: Patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite treatment with biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (bDMARD) therapy need treatment options.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of filgotinib vs placebo on the signs and symptoms of RA in a treatment-refractory population.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A 24-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, multinational phase 3 trial conducted from July 2016 to June 2018 at 114 sites internationally, randomizing 449 adult patients (and treating 448) with moderately to severely active RA and inadequate response/intolerance to 1 or more prior bDMARDs.

Interventions: Filgotinib, 200 mg (n = 148); filgotinib, 100 mg (n = 153); or placebo (n = 148) once daily; patients continued concomitant stable conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was the proportion of patients who achieved 20% improvement in the American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) at week 12. Secondary outcomes included week 12 assessments of low disease activity (disease activity score in 28 joints-C-reactive protein [DAS28-CRP] ≤3.2) and change in Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index, 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey Physical Component, and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue scores, as well as week 24 assessment of remission (DAS28-CRP <2.6) and adverse events.

Results: Among 448 patients who were treated (mean [SD] age, 56 [12] years; 360 women [80.4%]; mean [SD] DAS28-CRP score, 5.9 [0.96]; 105 [23.4%] with ≥3 prior bDMARDs), 381 (85%) completed the study. At week 12, more patients receiving filgotinib, 200 mg (66.0%) or 100 mg (57.5%), achieved ACR20 response (placebo, 31.1%; difference vs placebo: 34.9% [95% CI, 23.5%-46.3%] and 26.4% [95% CI, 15.0%-37.9%], respectively; both P < .001), including among patients with prior exposure to 3 or more bDMARDs (70.3%, 58.8%, and 17.6%, respectively; difference vs placebo: 52.6% [95% CI, 30.3%-75.0%] for filgotinib, 200 mg, and 41.2% [95% CI, 17.3%-65.0%] for filgotinib, 100 mg; both P < .001). The most common adverse events were nasopharyngitis (10.2%) for filgotinib, 200 mg; headache, nasopharyngitis, and upper respiratory infection (5.9% each) for filgotinib, 100 mg; and RA (6.1%) for placebo. Four uncomplicated herpes zoster cases and 1 retinal vein occlusion were reported with filgotinib; there were no opportunistic infections, active tuberculosis, malignancies, gastrointestinal perforations, or deaths.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with active RA who had an inadequate response or intolerance to 1 or more bDMARDs, filgotinib, 100 mg daily or 200 mg daily, compared with placebo resulted in a significantly greater proportion achieving a clinical response at week 12. However, further research is needed to assess longer-term efficacy and safety.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02873936.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.9055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6652745PMC
July 2019

Long-term safety of sarilumab in rheumatoid arthritis: an integrated analysis with up to 7 years' follow-up.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 02;59(2):292-302

Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Objective: Sarilumab is a human monoclonal antibody that blocks IL-6 from binding to membrane-bound and soluble IL-6 receptor-α. We assessed the long-term safety of sarilumab in patients from eight clinical trials and their open-label extensions.

Methods: Data were pooled from patients with rheumatoid arthritis who received at least one dose of sarilumab in combination with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs; combination group) or as monotherapy (monotherapy group). Treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) and AEs and laboratory values of special interest were assessed.

Results: 2887 patients received sarilumab in combination with csDMARDs and 471 patients received sarilumab monotherapy, with mean exposure of 2.8 years and 1.7 years, maximum exposure 7.3 and 3.5 years, and cumulative AE observation period of 8188 and 812 patient-years, respectively. Incidence rates per 100 patient-years in the combination and monotherapy groups, respectively, were 9.4 and 6.7 for serious AEs, 3.7 and 1.0 for serious infections, 0.6 and 0.5 for herpes zoster (no cases were disseminated), 0.1 and 0 for gastrointestinal perforations, 0.5 and 0.2 for major adverse cardiovascular events, and 0.7 and 0.6 for malignancy. Absolute neutrophil counts <1000 cells/mm3 were recorded in 13% and 15% of patients, respectively. Neutropenia was not associated with increased risk of infection or serious infection. Analysis by 6-month interval showed no signal for increased rate of any AE over time.

Conclusion: The long-term safety profile of sarilumab, either in combination with csDMARDs or as monotherapy, remained stable and consistent with the anticipated profile of a molecule that inhibits IL6 signalling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571482PMC
February 2020

Upadacitinib Versus Placebo or Adalimumab in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to Methotrexate: Results of a Phase III, Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2019 11 28;71(11):1788-1800. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy, including capacity for inhibition of radiographic progression, and safety of upadacitinib, a JAK1-selective inhibitor, as compared to placebo or adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have experienced an inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX).

Methods: In total, 1,629 RA patients with an inadequate response to MTX were randomized (2:2:1) to receive upadacitinib (15 mg once daily), placebo, or adalimumab (40 mg every other week) while continuing to take a stable background dose of MTX. The primary end points were achievement of an American College of Rheumatology 20% (ACR20) improvement response and a Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using C-reactive protein level (DAS28-CRP) of <2.6 in the upadacitinib group compared to the placebo group at week 12; inhibition of radiographic progression was evaluated at week 26. The study was also designed and powered to test for the noninferiority and superiority of upadacitinib compared to adalimumab, as measured both clinically and functionally.

Results: At week 12, both primary end points were met in patients receiving upadacitinib compared to those receiving placebo (P ≤ 0.001). An ACR20 improvement response was achieved by 71% of patients in the upadacitinib group compared to 36% in the placebo group, and a DAS28-CRP score of <2.6 was observed in 29% of patients receiving upadacitinib compared to 6% of patients receiving placebo. Upadacitinib was superior to adalimumab based on the ACR50 response rate, achievement of a DAS28-CRP score of ≤3.2, change in pain severity score, and change in the Health Assessment Questionnaire disability index. At week 26, more patients receiving upadacitinib than those receiving placebo or adalimumab achieved low disease activity or remission (P ≤ 0.001). Radiographic progression was significantly inhibited in patients receiving upadacitinib and was observed in fewer upadacitinib-treated patients than placebo-treated patients (P ≤ 0.001). Up to week 26, adverse events (AEs), including serious infections, were comparable between the upadacitinib and adalimumab groups. The proportions of patients with serious AEs and AEs leading to discontinuation were highest in the adalimumab group; the proportions of patients with herpes zoster and those with creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevations were highest in the upadacitinib group. Three malignancies, 5 major adverse cardiovascular events, and 4 deaths were reported among the groups, but none occurred in patients receiving upadacitinib. Six venous thromboembolic events were reported (1 in the placebo group, 2 in the upadacitinib group, and 3 in the adalimumab group).

Conclusion: Upadacitinib was superior to placebo and adalimumab for improving signs, symptoms, and physical function in RA patients who were receiving background MTX. In addition, radiographic progression was significantly inhibited by upadacitinib as compared to placebo. The overall safety profile of upadacitinib was generally similar to that of adalimumab, except for higher rates of herpes zoster and CPK elevations in patients receiving upadacitinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41032DOI Listing
November 2019

Methotrexate in the Treatment of Idiopathic Granulomatous Mastitis.

J Rheumatol 2020 06 15;47(6):924-927. Epub 2019 Jun 15.

From the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Pathology, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA.

Objective: Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis (IGM) is a disfiguring inflammatory breast disease without effective treatment. We report the largest IGM cohort treated with methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy.

Methods: Chart review was performed on patients evaluated by the Stanford Immunology and Rheumatology Clinic, with histopathologically established IGM treated with MTX, and at least 1 followup appointment.

Results: Nineteen female patients with a mean age of 33.5 years were identified. Most failed treatment with antibiotics, prednisone, and surgical intervention. By 15 months of treatment with MTX, 94% had disease improvement and 75% achieved disease remission.

Conclusion: MTX monotherapy is an effective treatment for IGM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3899/jrheum.181205DOI Listing
June 2020