Prevention of Radiographic Progression in Higher-Risk Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Filgotinib in Phase III Studies: Narrative Review of Post Hoc Analyses

Rheumatol Ther. 2023 Dec;10(6):1399-1415. doi: 10.1007/s40744-023-00590-w. Epub 2023 Sep 5.


Filgotinib is an oral preferential Janus kinase 1 inhibitor that demonstrated significant reductions in radiographic progression, with an acceptable tolerability and safety profile, vs placebo in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX-IR; FINCH 1) and vs MTX in MTX-naïve patients with RA (FINCH 3). International treatment guidelines identify multiple poor prognostic factors (PPFs) associated with worse disease outcomes among patients with RA. However, questions remain both about the clinical utility of considering PPFs and about which PPFs should drive treatment decisions. Additionally, the role of radiographic findings in clinical practice continues to be discussed and to evolve. This review examines radiographic results from post hoc analyses of phase 3 trials of filgotinib that examined subgroups with 4 PPFs or with baseline estimated rapid radiographic progression (e-RRP). In MTX groups, there were trends toward greater progression among patients with 4 PPFs or e-RRP, suggesting these subgroups may comprise a higher-risk population. Results show general consistency for the efficacy of filgotinib 200 mg plus MTX vs placebo plus MTX/MTX monotherapy on radiographic assessments, including change from baseline in modified total Sharp score and proportions without radiographic progression, even among MTX-IR or MTX-naïve patients with 4 PPFs or e-RRP who may be at higher risk of bone damage. Multivariate analysis identified multiple factors associated with baseline e-RRP status. This summary of the current understanding of benefits associated with filgotinib on radiographic progression and the relevance of baseline factors to these benefits may help inform treatment decisions for patients facing high risk of radiographic progression.

Keywords: Adalimumab; Filgotinib; Methotrexate; Poor prognostic factors; Rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review