JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Tofacitinib in combination with nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized trial

Joel Kremer, Zhan-Guo Li, Stephen Hall, Roy Fleischmann, Mark Genovese, Emilio Martin-Mola, John D Isaacs, David Gruben, Gene Wallenstein, Sriram Krishnaswami, Samuel H Zwillich, Tamas Koncz, Richard Riese, John Bradley
Annals of Internal Medicine 2013 August 20, 159 (4): 253-61
24026258

BACKGROUND: Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not achieve adequate and safe responses with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Tofacitinib is a novel, oral, Janus kinase inhibitor that treats RA.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib in combination with nonbiologic DMARDs.

DESIGN: 1-year, double-blind, randomized trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00856544).

SETTING: 114 centers in 19 countries.

PATIENTS: 792 patients with active RA despite nonbiologic DMARD therapy.

INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned 4:4:1:1 to oral tofacitinib, 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily, or placebo advanced to tofacitinib, 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily.

MEASUREMENTS: Primary end points were 20% improvement in American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) criteria; Disease Activity Score for 28-joint counts based on the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-4[ESR]) of less than 2.6; DAS28-4(ESR)-defined remission, change in Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) score, and safety assessments.

RESULTS: Mean treatment differences for ACR20 response rates (month 6) for the 5-mg and 10-mg tofacitinib groups compared with the combined placebo groups were 21.2% (95% CI, 12.2% to 30.3%; P < 0.001) and 25.8% (CI, 16.8% to 34.8%; P < 0.001), respectively. The HAQ-DI scores (month 3) and DAS28-4(ESR) less than 2.6 response rates (month 6) were also superior in the tofacitinib groups versus placebo. The incidence rates of serious adverse events for patients receiving 5-mg tofacitinib, 10-mg tofacitinib, or placebo were 6.9, 7.3, or 10.9 events per 100 patient-years of exposure, respectively. In the tofacitinib groups, 2 cases of tuberculosis, 2 cases of other opportunistic infections, 3 cardiovascular events, and 4 deaths occurred. Neutrophil counts decreased, hemoglobin and low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased, and serum creatinine levels had small increases in the tofacitinib groups.

LIMITATIONS: Placebo groups were smaller and of shorter duration. Patients received primarily methotrexate. The ability to assess drug combinations other than tofacitinib plus methotrexate was limited.

CONCLUSION: Tofacitinib improved disease control in patients with active RA despite treatment with nonbiologic DMARDs, primarily methotrexate.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Pfizer.

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