Effect of filgotinib, a selective JAK 1 inhibitor, with and without methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: patient-reported outcomes

Arthritis Res Ther. 2018 Mar 23;20(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s13075-018-1541-z.


Background: The aim was to assess patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with filgotinib during two phase 2b, 24-week, randomized, placebo-controlled studies.

Methods: Patients with moderate-to-severe active RA and an inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX) were randomized to daily placebo or filgotinib 50 mg, 100 mg, or 200 mg as add-on therapy to MTX (NCT01888874) or as monotherapy (NCT01894516). At week 12, nonresponders receiving filgotinib 50 mg in both studies or placebo in the add-on study, and all patients receiving placebo as monotherapy, were re-assigned to filgotinib 100 mg. PROs were measured using the Health Assessment Questionnaire - Disability Index (HAQ-DI) including Patient Pain assessed by visual analog scale, and the Patient Global Assessment of Disease Activity (Patient Global), the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Fatigue Scale (Version 4), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).

Results: At week 12, improvements in all PROs, apart from the SF-36 mental component in the add-on study, were statistically better with filgotinib than placebo; some improvements were noted as early as the first assessment time point (week 1 or week 4). Filgotinib improved HAQ-DI by 0.58-0.84 points, FACIT-Fatigue by 6.9-11.4 points, Patient Global by 25.2-35.6 mm, and Pain by 24.2-37.9 mm; scores were maintained or improved to week 24. Across all PROs, more patients achieved minimal clinically important differences and normative values with filgotinib 200 mg than placebo. Patients re-assigned to filgotinib 100 mg at week 12 experienced improvements in PROs between weeks 12 to 24.

Conclusions: Filgotinib as MTX add-on therapy or as monotherapy demonstrated rapid and sustained (to 24 weeks) improvements in health-related quality of life and functional status in patients with active RA.

Trial registration: MTX add-on study: ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT01888874 . Registered on 28 June 2013. Monotherapy study: ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT01894516 . Registered on 10 July 2013.

Keywords: Filgotinib; JAK inhibitor; Patient-Reported Outcome Measures; Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Janus Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Pyridines / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triazoles / administration & dosage*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • GLPG0634
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyridines
  • Triazoles
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Methotrexate