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23-06-2016 | Rheumatoid arthritis | Article

Switching from adalimumab to tofacitinib in the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis Research & Therapy

Authors: Mark C. Genovese, Ronald F. van Vollenhoven, Bethanie Wilkinson, Lisy Wang, Samuel H. Zwillich, David Gruben, Pinaki Biswas, Richard Riese, Liza Takiya, Thomas V. Jones

Publisher: BioMed Central



Tofacitinib is an oral Janus kinase inhibitor for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to explore the safety and efficacy of open-label tofacitinib following blinded treatment with adalimumab or tofacitinib for moderate to severe RA.


Analyses included patients treated with adalimumab 40 mg once every 2 weeks or tofacitinib 10 mg twice daily (BID) with background methotrexate (MTX) in a 12-month randomized study (NCT00853385), who subsequently received tofacitinib 10 mg BID (with/without background MTX) in an open-label extension (NCT00413699). Patients with treatment-related serious adverse events (AEs) and serious or recurrent infections in the index study were excluded from the extension study. Exposure-adjusted incidence rates of safety-related events were assessed in 3-month and 12-month periods in the year before and in the year after switching. Efficacy was assessed 3 months before, at the time of, and 3 months after switching.


There were 233 (107 adalimumab to tofacitinib 10 mg BID, 126 blinded to open-label tofacitinib 10 mg BID) patients included in these analyses. Patients in both treatment sequences had similar incidence rates (per 100 patient-years) of discontinuation due to AEs, serious AEs, and serious infections in the year before and in the year after switching. Incidence rates of AEs were increased in the first 3 months after switching compared with the last 3 months before switching in both treatment groups. Switching from either blinded adalimumab or tofacitinib to open-label tofacitinib resulted in numerically higher incidence of responders for signs and symptoms of disease and improved physical function.


Treatment can be directly switched from adalimumab to tofacitinib. A similar safety and efficacy profile was seen when patients received open-label tofacitinib after receiving either blinded adalimumab or tofacitinib.

Trial registration Identifiers: NCT00853385, registered 27 February 2009; NCT00413699, registered 18 December 2006.

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