Baricitinib Demonstrates Sustained Improvement in Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA drug shows superiority compared with adalimumab and placebo.

Additional data from the RA-BEAM study of baricitinib for the treatment of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis shows the superiority of the drug with compared with other medications, according to a press release.

The findings of a pivotal phase 3 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that beginning as early as week 8—–and sustained through week 52––a higher proportion of patients administered baricitinib achieved ACR50 and ACR70 response compared with adalimumab (Humira) and placebo. The composite scores represented at least 50% and 70% improvement, respectively.

The observed improvements were statistically significant compared with adalimumab at weeks 12, 20, 28, 32, and 40, according to a press release. Furthermore, both ACR50 and ACR70 rates were higher in the baricitinib group at week 52 compared with adalimumab. However, only ACR50 was statistically significant, according to the press release.

Using the 28-joint Disease Activity score, Simplified Disease Activity Index, and Clinical Disease Activity Index for assessment, the investigators found a significantly higher proportion of patients who received baricitinib had low disease activity compared with adalimumab at weeks 12 and 52.

“This is an exciting time for rheumatology, with potential new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis on the horizon,” study author Peter Taylor, MA, PhD, FRCP, said in a press release. “These data demonstrate that baricitinib could provide another treatment option for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Positive topline results of RA-BEAM were previously announced by Eli Lilly and Company and Incyte Corporation, which reported that the study met its primary objective of demonstrating superiority compared with placebo after 12 weeks of treatment based on ACR20 response.