Conference Highlights: ACR 2010 Annual Scientific Sessions

The 2010 Scientific Sessions of the American College of Rheumatology, or ACR, was held from November 7 to 11 in Atlanta. The features below highlight just some of the studies that emerged from the meeting. » Promising Results for Experimental RA Drug » Comparing Therapies for ANCA-Positive Vasculitis » Abatacept Well-Tolerated in Patients With RA Promising Results for Experimental RA Drug The Particulars: Tasocitinib is an investigational oral JAK inhibitor that may be beneficial for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is thought to block cytokine production. A phase III trial involving 611 patients with RA was conducted to assess the effect of tasocitinib on reducing symptoms, disability, and remission. Data Breakdown: In the study, responses at the ACR20 symptom level after 3 months were seen in 65.7% of patients receiving tasocitinib at 10 mg twice daily and in 59.8% of those taking a 5 mg dose, compared with 26.7% of those taking placebo. ACR50 and ACR70 symptom responses were seen in 36.8% and 20.3%, respectively, of the 10-mg tasocitinib patients at 3 months, compared with 12.5% and 5.8% of the placebo group. Similar results were seen in responses assessed with the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index. An analysis of remission (according to the Disease Activity Scale-28) at 3 months found that tasocitinib did not offer a significant advantage at either dosage relative to placebo. However, remission was seen in 6.0% of the 5-mg group (relative to placebo). Take Home Pearl: Tasocitinib appears to offer some benefits for RA patients, but more studies are needed to assess efficacy and safety. Comparing Therapies for ANCA-Positive Vasculitis [back to top] The...