SAN DIEGO – Patients with early oligoarticular psoriatic arthritis (PsA) who took apremilast (Otezla) had more than double the response rate of placebo-treated patients by 16 weeks in a double-blind and randomized phase 4 study.
Oligoarticular PsA can significantly affect quality of life even though few joints are affected, and there’s a lack of relevant clinical data to guide treatment, said rheumatologist Philip J. Mease, MD, of the University of Washington and Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, who reported the results in a presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
The findings of the study, called FOREMOST, support the use of the drug in mild PsA, Alexis Ogdie, MD, director of the Penn Psoriatic Arthritis Clinic and the Penn Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, said in an interview. Dr. Ogdie, who was not involved with the research, noted that rheumatologists commonly prescribe apremilast for mild PsA, although previous research has focused on severe PsA cases.
By 16 weeks, 33.9% of 203 who received apremilast and 16% of 105 who received placebo (difference, 18.5%; 95% confidence interval, 8.9-28.1; P = .0008) met the trial’s primary outcome, a modified version of minimal disease activity score (MDA-Joints), which required attainment of 1 or fewer swollen and/or tender joints plus three of five additional criteria (psoriasis body surface area of 3% or less, a patient pain visual analog scale assessment of 15 mm or less out of 0-100 mm, a patient global assessment of 20 mm or less out of 0-100 mm, a Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index score of 0.5 or less, and a Leeds Enthesitis Index score of 1 or less). The primary analysis was conducted only in joints affected at baseline.
The researchers recruited patients with 2-4 swollen and/or tender joints out of a total of 66-68 joints assessed; most patients (87%) randomized in the study had 4 or fewer active joints at baseline. The patients had a mean age of 50.9. The mean duration of PsA was 9.9 months, and 39.9% of patients were taking a conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug.
In a clinically important outcome, the percentage who had a patient-reported pain response improvement defined as “significant” reached 31.4% with placebo, compared with 48.8% for apremilast (difference, 17.7%; 95% CI, 6.0-29.4; P = .0044), and the percentage who reached a patient-reported pain response defined as “major” totaled 19.1% for placebo vs. 41.3% for apremilast (difference, 22.3%; 95% CI, 11.7-32.9; P = .002).
In an exploratory analysis of all joints, the percentages meeting MDA-Joints criteria for response were 7.9% with placebo and 21.3% with apremilast (difference, 13.6%; 95% CI, 5.9-21.4; P = .0028. Focusing on this exploratory analysis, Dr. Ogdie noted that examination of all joints is “more consistent” with the understanding of disease activity than only looking at the initial joints that had disease activity.
A post-hoc analysis among subjects with 2-4 affected joints found rates similar to the primary endpoint analysis: MDA-Joints response rates were reached by 34.4% of those who took apremilast and by 17.2% of those who took placebo.
When asked about the relatively low response rate for apremilast, Dr. Ogdie said the drug is “a really mild medication, which is why it belongs in the mild disease population. That’s balanced by the fact that it has a pretty good safety profile,” especially compared with the alternative of methotrexate, she said.
Almost all patients can tolerate apremilast, she said, although they may experience nausea or diarrhea. (The study found that adverse events were as expected for apremilast, and the drug was well tolerated.) Blood labs aren’t necessary, she added, as they are in patients taking methotrexate.
As for cost, apremilast is a highly expensive drug, especially when compared to methotrexate, which costs pennies per tablet at some pharmacies. Amgen, the manufacturer of apremilast, lists the price as $4,600 a month. Still, insurers generally cover apremilast, Dr. Ogdie said.
The study was sponsored by Amgen. Dr. Mease reported financial relationships with many pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen. Many other coauthors reported financial relationships with Amgen and other pharmaceutical companies or were employees of Amgen. Dr. Ogdie reported having multiple consulting relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, and receiving grant funding from multiple companies as well as the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Psoriasis Foundation, Rheumatology Research Foundation, and Forward Databank.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/s/viewarticle/998501?src=rss
Publish date : 2023-11-15 16:34:13
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.