Baricitinib: Another drug for treating arthritis
Results from an international first clinical Phase III trial showed that baricitinib as an rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment in patients has reported a significant success and demonstrated significant improvement in symptoms. Trial results have been published in the top scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine.
Baricitinib is an small-molecule oral Janus kinase 1 and 2 inhibitor, which works by interfering with the intracellular enzymes and initiate signaling activity which are responsible for inflammatory response. This Phase III trial study sponsored by Eli Lilly and was carried out by MedUni Vienna and Stanford University (USA).
Study sample was 527 patients and were randomly divided into three groups, treated once daily for 24 weeks with 2 mg of baricitinib, 4 mg of baricitinib and a control group with placebo. The participants in this trial who had previously received treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and had an inadequate response.
Results showed that the treatment significantly decreased RA symptoms who had received baricitinib. In both baricitinib groups, improvement also were noticed with increased physical functionality and decresed inflammation. However, 4 mg dose group exhibited even better results than 2mg dose group as compared to the control group. The adverse event rates were comparable to those known of biological therapies.
"With Baricitinib, we will have a drug that works even if the currently employed medications are not sufficiently effective," said Joseph Smolen, study author, Manager of the University Clinic for Internal Medicine III of MedUni Vienna in AKH Vienna. "Despite the very long disease duration and the refractory nature of the disease based on the lack of success with a series of other established therapies, almost 10 % of the patients went into full remission, i.e. a cure-like state on drug, within six months, and almost half of the patients demonstrated significant improvement of in disease activity and physical functioning. All this may constitute a new basis for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis that could become available in the near future."
"The medication is taken orally once a day and does not have to be administered intravenously or subcutaneously with a needle, unlike other medication. This is significantly more comfortable for the affected people," explains Smolen and concluded that it is one of the another advantage of this drug.