Objectives: To compare efficacy and safety of various doses of tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, with placebo in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS, radiographic axial spondyloarthritis).
Methods: In this 16-week (12-week treatment, 4-week washout), phase II, multicentre, dose-ranging trial, adult patients with active AS were randomised (N=51, 52, 52, 52, respectively) to placebo or tofacitinib 2, 5 or 10 mg twice daily. The primary efficacy endpoint was Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society 20% improvement (ASAS20) response rate at week 12. Secondary endpoints included objective measures of disease activity, patient-reported outcomes and MRI of sacroiliac joints and spine. Safety was monitored.
Results: Emax model analysis of the primary endpoint predicted a tofacitinib 10 mg twice daily ASAS20 response rate of 67.4%, 27.3% higher than placebo. Supportive normal approximation analysis demonstrated tofacitinib 5 mg twice daily ASAS20 response rate significantly higher than placebo (80.8% vs 41.2%; p<0.001); tofacitinib 2 and 10 mg twice daily demonstrated greater response rate than placebo (51.9% and 55.8%, respectively; not significant). Secondary endpoints generally demonstrated greater improvements with tofacitinib 5 and 10 mg twice daily than placebo. Objective (including MRI) endpoints demonstrated clear dose response. Adverse events were similar across treatment groups with no unexpected safety findings. Dose-dependent laboratory outcome changes returned close to baseline by week 16.
Conclusions: Tofacitinib 5 and 10 mg twice daily demonstrated greater clinical efficacy versus placebo in reducing signs, symptoms and objective endpoints of active AS in adult patients with a similar 12-week safety profile as reported in other indications.
Trial registration number: NCT01786668.
Keywords: Ankylosing Spondylitis; Disease Activity; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Treatment.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.