We assessed patient-reported outcomes from a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of repository corticotropin injection (RCI; Acthar Gel) in patients with persistently active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) despite treatment with moderate-dose glucocorticoids.
The trial enrolled adults with active SLE and moderate-to-severe rash and/or arthritis despite use of stable glucocorticoids (7.5 mg/day to 30 mg/day prednisone equivalent), antimalarials, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for ≥ 4 weeks and/or immunosuppressants for ≥ 8 weeks before screening. Patients were randomly assigned to 80 U of RCI or placebo subcutaneously every other day through week 4, then twice weekly through week 24. Primary analyses evaluated the change from baseline to week 24 in the Lupus Quality of Life (QoL) and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI)-Lupus questionnaires. Post hoc analyses stratified results by baseline disease activity (SLE Disease Activity Index-2000 [SLEDAI-2K] < 10 or ≥ 10; Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index [CLASI]-Activity < 11 or ≥ 11; and British Isles Lupus Assessment Group [BILAG]-2004 < 20 or ≥ 20) and by BILAG-based Combined Lupus Assessment (BICLA) response at weeks 20 and 24.
RCI treatment resulted in greater improvement in the LupusQoL pain domain at week 16 and planning domain at week 24 compared with placebo. Post hoc analyses demonstrated greater improvements with RCI in the pain, planning, and fatigue domains than with placebo at multiple time points in patients with higher disease activity by baseline SLEDAI-2K ≥ 10, CLASI-Activity ≥ 11, and BILAG-2004 ≥ 20 and/or in BICLA responders. Compared with placebo, RCI also resulted in greater improvements in percentage work time missed at week 24 in patients with baseline CLASI-Activity < 11 and in percentage impairment while working at week 16 in BICLA responders.
RCI may improve QoL and work productivity in patients who have persistently active SLE despite treatment with standard SLE therapy.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02953821.