Among people with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an inadequate response to methotrexate, the investigational drug fostamatinib improved health-related quality of life. These results were published in the Journal of Rheumatology.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1.3 million adults in the United States. The condition causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints, and can also affect other parts of the body.
Although important advances have been made in the treatment of RA, some patients experience persistent symptoms and worsening joint damage. This highlights the importance of continuing to develop new drugs for the treatment of this condition.
Fostamatinib—which is still investigational—is a type of drug known as a spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It is taken orally (by mouth). Some questions remain about its efficacy relative to other available RA drugs, but ongoing clinical trials should provide more information.
The current analysis focused on patient-reported measures of health and well-being, and involved 457 patients who participated in a Phase II clinical trial. In addition to methotrexate, patients received either a placebo or one of two doses of fostamatinib (100 mg twice daily or 150 mg once daily).
Patients receiving 100 mg of fostamatinib twice daily tended to have the best outcomes. Compared with patients treated with placebo, these patients had improvements in pain, overall disease activity, physical function, and fatigue.
Patient-reported outcomes provide important information about how patients perceive their health and well-being. The results of the current study suggest that fostamatinib improves several patient-reported outcomes. Ongoing Phase III clinical trials will provide more definitive information about the efficacy of this drug.
Reference: Weinblatt ME, Kavanaugh A, Genovese MC et al. Effects of Fostamatinib (R788), an Oral Spleen Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, on Health-related Quality of Life in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: Analyses of Patient-reported Outcomes from a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. Journal of Rheumatology. Early online publication February 1, 2013.