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      Clinical application and evaluation of anti-TNF-alpha agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

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          Abstract

          Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic progressive autoimmune disease that dramatically impairs quality of life. A number of compounds are available to treat RA, but they vary in effectiveness. Thus, no optimal treatment strategy has been defined. Currently, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNF-α) agents are considered the treatments of choice. For patients with inadequate responses to DMARD therapy, one recommended therapeutic alternative is anti-TNF-α therapy. Anti-TNF-α agents are effective and have rapid onset of action compared with DMARDs. Elucidating the differences in effectiveness of anti-TNF-α compounds has important clinical implications. By comparing the efficacy, safety and use principle of different treatment options, this review focuses on providing important information about three anti-TNF-α compounds (etanercept, infliximab, and adalimumab) to help define optimal treatments for RA patients.

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          Most cited references 63

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          The PREMIER study: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of combination therapy with adalimumab plus methotrexate versus methotrexate alone or adalimumab alone in patients with early, aggressive rheumatoid arthritis who had not had previous methotrexate treatment.

          To compare the efficacy and safety of adalimumab plus methotrexate (MTX) versus MTX monotherapy or adalimumab monotherapy in patients with early, aggressive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had not previously received MTX treatment. This was a 2-year, multicenter, double-blind, active comparator-controlled study of 799 RA patients with active disease of < 3 years' duration who had never been treated with MTX. Treatments included adalimumab 40 mg subcutaneously every other week plus oral MTX, adalimumab 40 mg subcutaneously every other week, or weekly oral MTX. Co-primary end points at year 1 were American College of Rheumatology 50% improvement (ACR50) and mean change from baseline in the modified total Sharp score. Combination therapy was superior to both MTX and adalimumab monotherapy in all outcomes measured. At year 1, more patients receiving combination therapy exhibited an ACR50 response (62%) than did patients who received MTX or adalimumab monotherapy (46% and 41%, respectively; both P < 0.001). Similar superiority of combination therapy was seen in ACR20, ACR70, and ACR90 response rates at 1 and 2 years. There was significantly less radiographic progression (P < or = 0.002) among patients in the combination treatment arm at both year 1 and year 2 (1.3 and 1.9 Sharp units, respectively) than in patients in the MTX arm (5.7 and 10.4 Sharp units) or the adalimumab arm (3.0 and 5.5 Sharp units). After 2 years of treatment, 49% of patients receiving combination therapy exhibited disease remission (28-joint Disease Activity Score <2.6), and 49% exhibited a major clinical response (ACR70 response for at least 6 continuous months), rates approximately twice those found among patients receiving either monotherapy. The adverse event profiles were comparable in all 3 groups. In this population of patients with early, aggressive RA, combination therapy with adalimumab plus MTX was significantly superior to either MTX alone or adalimumab alone in improving signs and symptoms of disease, inhibiting radiographic progression, and effecting clinical remission.
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            Therapeutic effect of the combination of etanercept and methotrexate compared with each treatment alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: double-blind randomised controlled trial.

            Etanercept and methotrexate are effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but no data exist on concurrent initiation or use of the combination compared with either drug alone. We aimed to assess combination treatment with etanercept and methotrexate versus the monotherapies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In a double-blind, randomised, clinical efficacy, safety, and radiographic study, 686 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis were randomly allocated to treatment with etanercept 25 mg (subcutaneously twice a week), oral methotrexate (up to 20 mg every week), or the combination. Clinical response was assessed by criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The primary efficacy endpoint was the numeric index of the ACR response (ACR-N) area under the curve (AUC) over the first 24 weeks. The primary radiographic endpoint was change from baseline to week 52 in total joint damage and was assessed with the modified Sharp score. Analysis was by intention to treat. Four patients did not receive any drug; thus 682 were studied. ACR-N AUC at 24 weeks was greater for the combination group compared with etanercept alone and methotrexate alone (18.3%-years [95% CI 17.1-19.6] vs 14.7%-years [13.5-16.0], p<0.0001, and 12.2%-years [11.0-13.4], p<0.0001; respectively). The mean difference in ACR-N AUC between combination and methotrexate alone was 6.1 (95% CI 4.5-7.8, p<0.0001) and between etanercept and methotrexate was 2.5 (0.8-4.2, p=0.0034). The combination was more efficacious than methotrexate or etanercept alone in retardation of joint damage (mean total Sharp score -0.54 [95% CI -1.00 to -0.07] vs 2.80 [1.08 to 4.51], p<0.0001, and 0.52 [-0.10 to 1.15], p=0.0006; respectively). The mean difference in total Sharp score between combination and methotrexate alone was -3.34 (95% CI -4.86 to -1.81, p<0.0001) and between etanercept and methotrexate was -27 (-3.81 to -0.74, p=0.0469). The number of patients reporting infections or adverse events was similar in all groups. The combination of etanercept and methotrexate was significantly better in reduction of disease activity, improvement of functional disability, and retardation of radiographic progression compared with methotrexate or etanercept alone. These findings bring us closer to achievement of remission and repair of structural damage in rheumatoid arthritis.
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              Adalimumab, a fully human anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in patients taking concomitant methotrexate: the ARMADA trial.

              To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adalimumab (D2E7), a fully human monoclonal tumor necrosis factor alpha antibody, in combination with methotrexate (MTX) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite treatment with MTX. In a 24-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 271 patients with active RA were randomly assigned to receive injections of adalimumab (20 mg, 40 mg, or 80 mg subcutaneously) or placebo every other week while continuing to take their long-term stable dosage of MTX. The primary efficacy end point was the American College of Rheumatology criteria for 20% improvement (ACR20) at 24 weeks. An ACR20 response at week 24 was achieved by a significantly greater proportion of patients in the 20-mg, 40-mg, and 80-mg adalimumab plus MTX groups (47.8%, 67.2%, and 65.8%, respectively) than in the placebo plus MTX group (14.5%) (P < 0.001). ACR50 response rates with the 20-mg, 40-mg, and 80-mg adalimumab dosages (31.9%, 55.2%, and 42.5%, respectively) were significantly greater than that with placebo (8.1%) (P = 0.003, P < 0.001, and P < 0.001, respectively). The 40-mg and 80-mg doses of adalimumab were associated with an ACR70 response (26.9% and 19.2%, respectively) that was statistically significantly greater than that with placebo (4.8%) (P < 0.001 and P = 0.020). Responses were rapid, with the greatest proportion of adalimumab-treated patients achieving an ACR20 response at the first scheduled visit (week 1). Adalimumab was safe and well tolerated; comparable numbers of adalimumab-treated patients and placebo-treated patients reported adverse events. The addition of adalimumab at a dosage of 20 mg, 40 mg, or 80 mg administered subcutaneously every other week to long-term MTX therapy in patients with active RA provided significant, rapid, and sustained improvement in disease activity over 24 weeks compared with MTX plus placebo.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Acta Pharmacol Sin
                Acta Pharmacol. Sin
                Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
                Nature Publishing Group
                1671-4083
                1745-7254
                September 2010
                16 August 2010
                : 31
                : 9
                : 1133-1140
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Anhui Medical University, Key Laboratory of Antiinflammatory and Immunopharmacology of the Education Ministry of China , Hefei 230032, China
                Author notes
                Article
                aps2010134
                10.1038/aps.2010.134
                4002310
                20711219
                Copyright © 2010 CPS and SIMM
                Categories
                Review

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