Article Text

Download PDFPDF

  1. Damemarie Paul1,
  2. Leticia Ferri1,
  3. Grace Crocket1,
  4. Lauren Mintzer2,
  5. Mir Sohail Fazeli2
  1. 1Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ, United States of America
  2. 2Doctor Evidence LLC, Santa Monica, CA, United States of America


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a wide-spread and debilitating disorder that is becoming increasingly relevant in an aging global population. Identifying and treating RA early in disease course is critical for preventing disability and joint damage.

Objectives: The goal of this systematic literature review (SLR) and meta-analysis was to compare the relative efficacy of abatacept (ABA) to other currently recommended therapies for patients with early RA.

Methods: We followed Cochrane guidelines for conducting intervention reviews. Population of interest was adult patients with active RA for ≤2 years treated with recommended therapies per the 2015 ACR guidelines as well as targeted synthetic therapies. Studies of interest were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies. Outcomes included ACR50, DAS28, radiographic change, and adverse events where available. A search from January 1998 to June 2018 was performed on MEDLINE®, Embase, and the Cochrane CENTRAL databases. Additionally, a hand-search was performed on US and European clinical trials registries from January 2005 to June 2018 and conference proceedings from ACR and EULAR from 2014 to 2018. A Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed on the DOC Data™ platform for the RCTs with reported results on ACR50, DAS28 remission, total withdrawal, and withdrawal due to adverse events.

Results: We identified 90 publications on 69 unique trials reporting efficacy and safety outcomes in patients with early RA, including 43 RCTs and 26 observational studies. The included studies were low risk as assessed by the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias. The studies were predominantly double-blind phase III or IV trials. Twenty-eight trials were included in the NMA evaluating ABA (n=1 trial), ABA+MTX (n=2), ADA+MTX (n=6), CTZ+MTX (n=2), ETN (n=1), ETN+MTX (n=1), HCQ+SSZ+MTX (n=1), HCQ+SSZ+Pred+MTX (n=1), IFX+MTX (n=4), MTX (n=21), MPred+MTX (n=2), MPred+Pred+MTX (n=1), Pred+SSZ+MTX (n=2), Pred+MTX (n=4), Pred (n=1), SSZ (n=4), SSZ+MTX (n=2), TCZ (n=2), TCZ+MTX (n=2), TOF (n=2), and TOF+MTX (n=2). Abatacept as monotherapy was similar to the combination of ABA and methotrexate for efficacy outcomes, ACR 50 (ABA vs ABA+MTX RR 0.82 [95% CI 0.51-1.35]), and DAS28 Remission (RR 0.76 [95% CI 0.39-1.49]), as well as for all-cause withdrawal (RR 1.8 [95% CI 0.91-3.2]) and withdrawal due to adverse events (RR 2.35 [95% CI 0.69-7.38]). Both ABA as monotherapy and ABA+MTX were similar to all other comparators (as monotherapy or combination therapy) with respect to main efficacy and safety outcomes. Data reported in observational studies was in concert with the RCT analysis.

Conclusion: The results of this NMA demonstrate similar efficacy between ABA and other biologics both as monotherapy and in combination with traditional DMARDS in early RA. Further investigation and comparison of different treatment options for early RA is warranted as the growing evidence base evolves in favor of using more novel therapies for RA. ABA=abatacept; ADA=adalimumab; CTZ=certolizumab; ETN= etanercept; HCQ=hydroxychloroquine, IFX= infliximab, MPred= methylprednisolone, MTX=methotrexate; Pred=prednisone, SSZ=sulfasalazine, TCZ= tocilizumab, TOF=tofacitinib

Disclosure of Interests: Damemarie Paul Shareholder of: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Employee of: Damemarie Paul is an employee of Bristol-Myers Squibb., Leticia Ferri Shareholder of: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Employee of: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Grace Crocket Consultant for: Grace Crocket is a consultant for Bristol-Myers Squibb., Lauren Mintzer Grant/research support from: Lauren Mintzer is an employee of Doctor Evidence LLC, and the study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb., Mir Sohail Fazeli Grant/research support from: Mir Sohail Fazeli is an employee of Doctor Evidence LLC, and the study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.