Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with baricitinib inhibited progressive radiographic joint damage compared with placebo, according to results presented at the EULAR Annual Congress.
Researchers randomly assigned patients in the 24-week RA-BUILD study to placebo, 2 mg baricitinib or 4 mg baricitinib once daily. Patients who entered the RA-BEYOND study continued the baricitinib dose received at the end of the RA-BUILD study, with patients receiving placebo at the end of RA-BUILD switching to 4 mg baricitinib, according to researchers. They evaluated structural joint damage using van der Heijde-modified Sharp scores, whereas linear extrapolation and last observation carried forward were used to account for treatment changes or missing scores.
Désirée van der Heijde
Results showed patients receiving baricitinib 2 mg or 4 mg experienced statistically significant lower progression of modified total Sharp score, bone erosion and joint space narrowing vs. placebo at 24 and 48 weeks. Using observed/last observation carried forward at week 48 or based on categorical measures, researchers found statistically significant inhibition of progressive radiographic joint damage among patients treated with 4 mg baricitinib compared with placebo.
“Together with the improvement of clinical and quality of life symptoms, which are so important for rheumatoid arthritis patients, a key goal of treatment is to restrict the structural damage rheumatoid arthritis causes to joints, a hallmark of the disease,” Désirée van der Heijde, MD, PhD, of Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, said in a press release. “These findings have shown us that, for people with rheumatoid arthritis, baricitinib may, if approved, offer an oral option which could help them restrict joint damage over an extended period of time.”
van der Heijde D, et al. Abstract #THU0168. Presented at: EULAR Annual Congress; June 8-11, 2016; London.
Disclosure: Heijde is a consultant for AbbVie, Amgen, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Daiichi, Eli Lilly and Co., Galapagos, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and UCB; and is an employee of Director Imaging Rheumatology BV.