Early and sustained efficacy with apremilast monotherapy in biological-naïve patients with psoriatic arthritis: a phase IIIB, randomised controlled trial (ACTIVE)

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Abstract

Objective

Evaluate apremilast efficacy across various psoriatic arthritis (PsA) manifestations beginning at week 2 in biological-naïve patients with PsA.

Methods

Patients were randomised (1:1) to apremilast 30 mg twice daily or placebo. At week 16, patients whose swollen and tender joint counts had not improved by ≥10% were eligible for early escape. At week 24, all patients received apremilast through week 52.

Results

Among 219 randomised patients (apremilast: n=110; placebo: n=109), a significantly greater American College of Rheumatology 20 response at week 16 (primary outcome) was observed with apremilast versus placebo (38.2% (42/110) vs 20.2% (22/109); P=0.004); response rates at week 2 (first assessment) were 16.4% (18/110) versus 6.4% (7/109) (P=0.025). Improvements in other efficacy outcomes, including 28-joint count Disease Activity Score (DAS-28) using C reactive protein (CRP), swollen joint count, Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI), enthesitis and morning stiffness severity, were observed with apremilast at week 2. At week 16, apremilast significantly reduced PsA disease activity versus placebo, with changes in DAS-28 (CRP) (P<0.0001), HAQ-DI (P=0.023) and Gladman Enthesitis Index (P=0.001). Improvements were maintained with continued treatment through week 52. Over 52 weeks, apremilast’s safety profile was consistent with prior phase 3 studies in psoriasis and PsA. During weeks 0–24, the incidence of protocol-defined diarrhoea was 11.0% (apremilast) and 8.3% (placebo); serious adverse event rates were 2.8% (apremilast) and 4.6% (placebo).

Conclusions

In biological-naïve patients with PsA, onset of effect with apremilast was observed at week 2 and continued through week 52. The safety profile was consistent with previous reports.

Trial registration number

NCT01925768; Results.

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