In a phase III, double-blind 24-week study, RA-BUILD, 684 biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)-naïve patients with rheumatoid arthritis and inadequate response or intolerance to greater than or equal to 1 conventional synthetic DMARDs were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to placebo or Baricitinib ( 2 or 4 mg ) once daily, stratified by region and the presence of joint erosions.
Endpoint measures included American College of Rheumatology 20% response ( ACR20, primary endpoint ), Disease Activity Score ( DAS28 ) and Simplified Disease Activity Index ( SDAI ) score less than or equal to 3.3.
Baricitinib is an oral, reversible, selective Janus kinase 1 and 2 inhibitor.
More patients achieved ACR20 response at week 12 with Baricitinib 4 mg than with placebo ( 62% vs 39%, p less than or equal to 0.001 ).
Compared with placebo, statistically significant improvements in DAS28, SDAI remission, Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index, morning joint stiffness, worst joint pain and worst tiredness were observed.
In a supportive analysis, radiographic progression of structural joint damage at week 24 was reduced with Baricitinib versus placebo.
Rates of adverse events during the treatment period and serious adverse events, including serious infections, were similar among groups ( serious adverse events: 5% for Baricitinib 4 mg and placebo ).
One patient had an adverse event of tuberculosis ( Baricitinib 4 mg ); one patient had an adverse event of non-melanoma skin cancer ( Baricitinib 4 mg ).
Two deaths and three major adverse cardiovascular events occurred ( placebo ).
Baricitinib was associated with a decrease in neutrophils and increases in low-density and high-density lipoprotein.
In conclusion, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and an inadequate response or intolerance to conventional synthetic DMARDs, Baricitinib was associated with clinical improvement and inhibition of progression of radiographic joint damage. ( Xagena )
Dougados M et al, Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210094