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      Drug delivery options to increase patient adherence and satisfaction in the management of rheumatoid arthritis – focus on subcutaneous tocilizumab

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          Abstract

          Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory disease associated with joint destruction. Tocilizumab (TCZ) is a humanized monoclonal anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody that was initially developed for use as an intravenous (IV) infusion. Previous studies have shown that TCZ-IV is an important treatment option in patients with moderate-to-severe RA. A subcutaneous (SC) formulation of 162 mg TCZ that was recently developed and approved provides an additional treatment option for RA patients. In the present review, we provide an update on the efficacy and safety of TCZ-SC, compared with TCZ-IV. The TCZ-SC doses of 162 mg every 2 weeks (q2w) or weekly (qw) were selected based on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies. Both TCZ-SC q2w and qw regimens showed equivalent effects to TCZ-IV in most patients; however, the TCZ-SC qw regimen consistently showed a more rapid effect in terms of C-reactive protein normalization. Randomized controlled studies showed that TCZ-SC monotherapy or combined with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs demonstrated comparable efficacy to TCZ-IV in patients who were both biologic-naïve and refractory to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. TCZ-SC at both qw and q2w were generally well-tolerated for up to 24 weeks. There was a low rate of withdrawal due to adverse events, and their incidence was comparable with that seen with TCZ-IV. An injection site reaction was seen in approximately 10% of patients who received the subcutaneous formulation. In conclusion, although clinical results are still limited, the currently available evidence suggests that TCZ-SC is a promising treatment for moderate-to-severe RA, both as monotherapy and combination therapy. More data is needed to determine the optimal dosing schedule.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Effect of interleukin-6 receptor inhibition with tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (OPTION study): a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial.

          Interleukin 6 is involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis via its broad effects on immune and inflammatory responses. Our aim was to assess the therapeutic effects of blocking interleukin 6 by inhibition of the interleukin-6 receptor with tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel group phase III study, 623 patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned with an interactive voice response system, stratified by site with a randomisation list provided by the study sponsor, to receive tocilizumab 8 mg/kg (n=205), tocilizumab 4 mg/kg (214), or placebo (204) intravenously every 4 weeks, with methotrexate at stable pre-study doses (10-25 mg/week). Rescue therapy with tocilizumab 8 mg/kg was offered at week 16 to patients with less than 20% improvement in both swollen and tender joint counts. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with 20% improvement in signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis according to American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20 response) at week 24. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00106548. The intention-to-treat analysis population consisted of 622 patients: one patient in the 4 mg/kg group did not receive study treatment and was thus excluded. At 24 weeks, ACR20 responses were seen in more patients receiving tocilizumab than in those receiving placebo (120 [59%] patients in the 8 mg/kg group, 102 [48%] in the 4 mg/kg group, 54 [26%] in the placebo group; odds ratio 4.0 [95% CI 2.6-6.1], p<0.0001 for 8 mg/kg vs placebo; and 2.6 [1.7-3.9], p<0.0001 for 4 mg/kg vs placebo). More people receiving tocilizumab than those receiving placebo had at least one adverse event (143 [69%] in the 8 mg/kg group; 151 [71%] in the 4 mg/kg group; 129 [63%] in the placebo group). The most common serious adverse events were serious infections or infestations, reported by six patients in the 8 mg/kg group, three in the 4 mg/kg group, and two in the placebo group. Tocilizumab could be an effective therapeutic approach in patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis. F Hoffmann-La Roche, Chugai Pharmaceutical.
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            Interleukin-6 receptor inhibition with tocilizumab reduces disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis with inadequate response to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs: the tocilizumab in combination with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy study.

            To examine the efficacy and safety of the humanized anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab combined with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A total of 1,220 patients were randomized (2:1 ratio) in the phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter TOWARD (Tocilizumab in Combination With Traditional DMARD Therapy) study. Patients remained on stable doses of DMARDs and received tocilizumab 8 mg/kg or placebo (control group) every 4 weeks for 24 weeks. At week 24, the proportion of patients achieving a response according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria for 20% improvement (ACR20) was significantly greater in the tocilizumab plus DMARD group than in the control group (61% versus 25%; P or=1 adverse event (AE), compared with 61% of patients in the control group. AEs leading to withdrawal from the study were infrequent (4% of patients in the tocilizumab group and 2% of those in the control group). Serious AEs occurred in 6.7% and 4.3% of patients in the tocilizumab and control groups, respectively, and serious infections occurred in 2.7% and 1.9%, respectively. Elevations in the alanine aminotransferase level, from normal at baseline to >3-fold the upper limit of normal, occurred in 4% of patients in the tocilizumab group and 1% of those in the control group, and elevated total cholesterol levels were observed in 23% and 6% of patients, respectively. Sixteen patients started lipid-lowering therapy during the study. Grade 3 neutropenia occurred in 3.7% of patients receiving tocilizumab and none of the patients in the control group, and no grade 4 neutropenia was reported. Tocilizumab combined with any of the DMARDs evaluated was safe and effective in reducing articular and systemic symptoms in patients with an inadequate response to these agents.
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              Comparison of tocilizumab monotherapy versus methotrexate monotherapy in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis: the AMBITION study

               G T Jones,  A Sebba,  J Gu (2009)
              Background: The anti-interleukin (IL) 6 receptor antibody tocilizumab inhibits signalling of IL6, a key cytokine in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis. Objective: To evaluate through the AMBITION study the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab monotherapy versus methotrexate in patients with active RA for whom previous treatment with methotrexate/biological agents had not failed. Methods: This 24-week, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group study, randomised 673 patients to either tocilizumab 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks, or methotrexate, starting at 7.5 mg/week and titrated to 20 mg/week within 8 weeks, or placebo for 8 weeks followed by tocilizumab 8 mg/kg. The primary end point was the proportion of patients achieving American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 response at week 24. Results: The intention-to-treat analysis demonstrated that tocilizumab was better than methotrexate treatment with a higher ACR20 response (69.9 vs 52.5%; p 3×–<5× upper limit of normal (1.0% vs 2.5%), respectively. Conclusion: Tocilizumab monotherapy is better than methotrexate monotherapy, with rapid improvement in RA signs and symptoms, and a favourable benefit–risk, in patients for whom treatment with methotrexate or biological agents has not previously failed. Trial registration number: NCT00109408
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2014
                04 July 2014
                : 8
                : 913-919
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
                [2 ]Kondo Clinic of Rheumatology and Orthopaedic Surgery, Fukuoka, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rheumatology, Clinical Research Institute, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Medical Center, Fukuoka, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yasuharu Nakashima, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Fukuoka, 812-8582 Japan, Tel +81 926 425 486, Fax +81 926 425 507, Email yasunaka@ 123456ortho.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp
                Article
                dddt-8-913
                10.2147/DDDT.S52099
                4094568
                © 2014 Nakashima et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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