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Network Meta-Analysis of Tofacitinib, Biologic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, and Apremilast for the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis


Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2020 Aug 12;93:100601. doi: 10.1016/j.curtheres.2020.100601.eCollection 2020.

Dafna D Gladman 1Ana-Maria Orbai 2Juan Gomez-Reino 3Stacey Chang-Douglass 4Emanuele Leoncini 4Hannah E Burton 4Keith S Kanik 5Ana Belen Romero 6Joseph C Cappelleri 5Ming-Ann Hsu 5

Author Information


1 Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Krembil Research Institute, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

2 Division of Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

3 Fundación Ramón Domínguez, Hospital Clinico Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

4 Decision Resources Group, part of Clarivate, London, United Kingdom.

5 Pfizer Inc, Groton, Connecticut.

6 Pfizer SL, Barcelona, Spain.



Background: Tofacitinib and other new treatments approved for use in psoriatic arthritis have only recently been included in psoriatic arthritis treatment guidelines, and studies evaluating the relative efficacy of available therapies are important to inform treatment decisions by healthcare professionals.

Objective: To perform a network meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety profiles of tofacitinib, biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs), and apremilast in patients with psoriatic arthritis naïve to tumor necrosis factor inhibitor therapy (TNFi-naïve) or with an inadequate response (TNFi-IR).

Methods: A systematic literature review used searches of MEDLINE, Embase, and The Cochrane Library on October 9, 2017. Randomized controlled trials including adult patients with psoriatic arthritis receiving treatment administered as monotherapy or with conventional synthetic DMARDs were selected. Efficacy outcomes included American College of Rheumatology 20 response, change from baseline in Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index, ≥75% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, and change from baseline in Dactylitis Severity Score and Leeds Enthesitis Index. Treatment effects were evaluated during placebo-controlled phases, using a binomial logit model for binary outcomes and a normal identify link model for other outcomes. Discontinuations due to adverse events and serious infection events were assessed as safety outcomes.

Results: The network meta-analysis included 24 published randomized controlled trials, of which 13 enrolled TNFi-naïve patients only, 3 enrolled TNFi-IR patients only, and 8 enrolled both TNFi-naïve and TNFi-IR patients. Placebo-controlled treatment durations ranged from 12 to 24 weeks. Indirect comparisons showed tofacitinib 5 and 10 mg BID to have similar efficacy compared with most bDMARDs and apremilast in improving joint symptoms (based on American College of Rheumatology 20 response), and with some bDMARDs in improving skin symptoms (based on Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) (tofacitinib 10 mg BID only in TNFi-IR) in patients with psoriatic arthritis who were TNFi-naïve or TNFi-IR. Results also showed that, compared with placebo, the improvement in physical functioning (based on Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index) with tofacitinib 5 and 10 mg BID was similar to that observed with most bDMARDs and apremilast in TNFi-naïve patients, and similar to that observed with all bDMARDs with available data in the TNFi-IR population. Improvements in Dactylitis Severity Score and Leeds Enthesitis Index scores were comparable between treatments. Tofacitinib 5 and 10 mg BID were median-ranked 8 and 15, respectively, for discontinuation due to any adverse events, and 5 and 16, respectively, for a serious infection event out of a total of 20 treatments in the network (lower numbers are more favorable).

Conclusions: Tofacitinib provides an additional treatment option for patients with psoriatic arthritis, both in patients naïve to TNFi and in those with TNFi-IR. (Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2020; 81:XXX-XXX).