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Background: Biologic therapies have revolutionised treatment pathways and outcomes for patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Although there is a choice of approved TNF inhibitors available as a first biologic, there lacks data to inform treatment choices in clinical practice.

Objectives: To compare short-term outcomes on etanercept and adalimumab in children and young people with JIA without uveitis, including drug survival, arthritis disease activity and function ability at 1 year.

Methods: All patients starting a first biologic (etanercept/adalimumab including biosimilars) from 2010 in the UK JIA biologic registers (BCRD and BSPAR ETN) were included. Those with systemic JIA or with any history of uveitis were excluded. Data were collected at start of therapy, 6 months, 1 year, and then annually, including patient demographic, disease activity and drug therapy. In this analysis, drug survival and arthritis disease activity / function ability at 1 year (range 3-15 months) were investigated; comparing between therapies using logistic / linear regression, adjusted for propensity deciles.

Results: There were 550 patients with outcome data available (to 30 Sept 2020); 384 etanercept, 166 adalimumab. At registration, 68% female, median age 12 years old (IQR 8-14), median disease duration 1 year (IQR 1-4), 72% on concomitant methotrexate. Disease activity was similar between both therapies at baseline and one year. At one year, 70% were still on biologic therapy; most stopping therapy for ineffectiveness (45%), adverse events (31%), or patient / family choice (15%). Inactive disease and minimal disease activity was achieved in 26% and 46% respectively, 48% achieved a minimally clinical important improvement in their functional ability (CHAQ improvement >0.13).

Conclusion: This is the first comparative effectiveness analysis of adalimumab and etanercept within UK children receiving TNFi therapies for JIA. Despite large patient numbers, there was no evidence of difference between adalimumab and etanercept regarding arthritis disease control or treatment persistence. For children without uveitis, both adalimumab and etanercept can be considered as effective treatment options for children and young people with JIA.

Disclosure of Interests: None declared

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