Pfizer recently presented encouraging results on the effectiveness and safety of the company’s product Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The data was presented at the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting Nov. 11-16 in Washington, D.C.
Xeljanz works by inhibiting the Janus kinase (JAK) proteins, which are known to participate in several signaling mechanisms related to the immune responses that cause pain, tenderness, and inflammation.
The use of Xeljanz to treat moderate to severe RA is approved in 50 countries where the drug serves as a treatment option for patients in whom one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have failed.
In the U.S., Xeljanz is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a once-daily treatment for RA patients who respond inadequately, or are intolerant, to methotrexate therapy.
Results of Pfizer-sponsored research on Xeljanz in RA patients were revealed in two oral presentations at the ACR/ARHP Meeting.
The presentation titled “Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events: Risk Factors In Patients With RA Treated With Tofacitinib,” showed that, while RA patients may be at a high risk of developing cardiac diseases such as heart attack and stroke, treatment with Xeljanz reduced this risk.
Results from six Phase 2 and 3 long-term extension studies showed that patients with moderate to severe RA, receiving at least one dose of Xeljanz, increased the levels of HDL-c (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called the good cholesterol) and decreased the total cholesterol/HDL-c ratio after 24 weeks of treatment, reducing the risk of future heart complications and death.
The second oral presentation on Xeljanz, titled “Inflammation Detected with Modern Sensitive MRI Analysis Demonstrates That Therapeutic Response As Early As One Month Predicts 12-Month Radiographic Progression: Data from a Study Using Tofacitinib and Methotrexate in Early RA,” revealed that treatment with Xeljanz, alone or in combination with methotrexate, led to a reduced progression of RA, as detected by MRI.
The results of this study were collected from a Phase 2 randomized study comparing Xeljanz, methotrexate, and the combination of the two drugs in patients with early active RA.
“As part of our commitment to inflammation and immunology, we continue to advance our leading science in the research of Janus kinase inhibition,” Michael Corbo, chief development officer of Pfizer, said in a news release.
“The extensive data being presented at this year’s ACR/AHRP annual meeting expands upon our knowledge about the role of Xeljanz for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis,” he added.
For a complete list of Pfizer-sponsored presentations at the 2016 ACR/AHRP Meeting, please visit this link.