Effectiveness of adalimumab for rheumatoid arthritis in patients with a history of TNF-antagonist therapy in clinical practice

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Jul;46(7):1191-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kem091. Epub 2007 May 15.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who previously discontinued tumour necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists for any reason in clinical practice.

Methods: ReAct (Research in Active Rheumatoid Arthritis) was a large, open-label trial that enrolled adults with active RA who had previously been treated with traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or biological response modifiers. Patients self-administered adalimumab 40 mg subcutaneously every other week for 12 weeks and were allowed to enter an optional long-term extension phase. Measures of adalimumab effectiveness included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria, Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) and the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ DI).

Results: Of 6610 patients, 899 had a history of etanercept and/or infliximab therapy; these patients experienced substantial clinical benefit from adalimumab treatment. At week 12, 60% of patients had an ACR20 and 33% had an ACR50 response; 76% had a moderate and 23% had a good EULAR response. In addition, 12% achieved a DAS28 < 2.6, indicating clinical remission, and 13% achieved a HAQ DI score <0.5. The allergic adverse event rate, regardless of relationship to adalimumab, was 6.5/100-patient-years (PYs) in previously TNF-antagonist-exposed patients and 4.3/100-PYs in TNF-antagonist-naive patients. A multiple regression analysis indicated no statistically significantly increased risk of serious infections in patients who received prior TNF antagonists compared with TNF-antagonist-naive patients.

Conclusion: In typical clinical practice, adalimumab was effective and well-tolerated in patients with RA previously treated with etanercept and/or infliximab.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adalimumab
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Etanercept
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Infliximab
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use
  • Regression Analysis
  • Remission Induction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept