At Week 12, more baricitinib-treated patients had an ACR20 response compared with placebo-treated patients (70% vs. 40%, P<0.001). All of the secondary endpoints improved for the baricitinib-treated patients compared with placebo-treated patients, including the mTSS at Week 24. In the active-controlled treatment group receiving adalimumab, 61% of patients achieved ACR20 at Week 12 compared with 70% of baricitinib-treated patients. Baricitinib was deemed to be noninferior to adalimumab at Week 12 for the ACR20 response. At Week 52, a higher proportion of baricitinib-treated patients achieved ACR50 and ACR70 compared with adalimumab-treated patients.
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Rates of study discontinuation due to adverse events were relatively low from baseline to Week 24. Discontinuation rates were 3% for placebo-treated patients, 5% for baricitinib and 2% for adalimumab. Serious adverse event rates through Week 24 were 5%, 5% and 2% for placebo, baricitinib and adalimumab, respectively. Through Week 52, serious adverse events occurred in 8% of baricitinib-treated patients and 4% of adalimumab-treated patients. Baricitinib-treated patients (71%) and adalimumab-treated patients (68%) had more frequent adverse events than placebo-treated patients (60%). Infection rates in baricitinib-treated patients (48%) and adalimumab-treated patients (44%) were similar through Week 52.
An adalimumab-treated patient developed tuberculosis. Cancers occurred in five patients (n=2 baricitinib-treated patients; n=3 placebo-treated patients). Baricitinib was also associated with neutrophil count lowering, creatinine increases and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol increases. Five deaths were also reported (n=2 for baricitinib, n=1 for placebo to baricitinib, n=1 for adalimumab and n=1 for placebo).
This study showed that RA patients with an inadequate response to conventional DMARDs, including methotrexate, may obtain significant clinical improvement with baricitinib.
Baricitinib has already been submitted for regulatory review in the U.S.4 Baricitinib (Olumiant) was granted marketing authorization in Europe by the European Commission in 2 mg and 4 mg film-coated tablets to treat moderate to severe active RA in adults who have had an inadequate response to, or who are intolerant to, one or more DMARDs.5
Michele B. Kaufman, PharmD, BCGP, is a freelance medical writer based in New York City and a pharmacist at New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. News release: FDA approves new psoriasis drug. 2017 Feb 15.
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. News release: Valeant receives FDA approval of Siliq (brodalumab) for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. 2017 Feb 16.
- Taylor PC, Keystone EC, van der Heidje D, et al. Baricitinib versus placebo or adalimumab in rheumatoid arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2017;376:652–662. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608345.
- Eli Lilly and Co. News release: Additional results from pivotal RA-BEAM study published in New England Journal of Medicine show baricitinib-treated patients demonstrated sustained improvement in rheumatoid arthritis compared to adalimumab and placebo. 2017 Feb 15. .
- Eli Lilly and Co. News release: European commission approves once-daily Olumiant tablets for treatment of adults with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis. 2017 Feb 13.