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JAK Inhibitor Upadacitinib Shows Promise in Hard To Treat Individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Upadacitinib is a once daily oral medicine belongs to a new class of oral medicines called janus kinase or JAK inhibitors.  Janus kinases are enzymes that play a role in inflammation and RA.  JAK inhibitors block the activity of these enzymes leading to a reduction in inflammation and are showing significant benefit to individuals with RA

JAK Inhibitors-Next Advance in Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a recently reported 12-week study evaluating two doses of upadacitinib 64 percent of patients given a 15-milligram dose and 66 percent of patients given a 30-mg dose experienced a 20 percent reduction in symptoms, measured using a commonly used rheumatoid arthritis scale.

In addition there are currently two new reports in the medical journal Arthritis & Rheumatology evaluating the effectiveness and safety of another selective JAK-1 inhibitor, ABT-494, in treating RA in individuals with an inadequate response to treatment with methotrexate (MTX) or a TNF inhibitor. 1,2,3

Taken together all these reports suggest JAK inhibitors are safe, effective and should become incorporated into the overall management of RA giving physicians a new tool for the management of this condition.

Upadacitinib is also being evaluating for several other autoimmune conditions, including psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

References:

  1. Genovese MC, Smolen JS, WEinblatt ME, et al. Efficacy and Safety of ABT-494, a Selective JAK-1 Inhibitor, in a Phase IIb Study in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to Methotrexate. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Dec;68(12):2857-2866. doi: 10.1002/art.39808.
  2. Kremer JM, Emery P, Camp HS, et al. A Phase IIb Study of ABT-494, a Selective JAK-1 Inhibitor, in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis and an Inadequate Response to Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Dec;68(12):2867-2877. doi: 10.1002/art.39801.
  3. Genovese M, Kremer J, Samani O, et al. Barcitinib in patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis. New England Journal of Medicine. March 31, 2016. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1507247
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