Public Release:  Abatacept and infliximab improve clinical response over time in methotrexate-refractory RA patients

Results from the ATTEST Trial

European League Against Rheumatism

Paris, France, Friday 13 June 2008: New data presented today at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France, show that over half of rheumatoid arthritis patients resistant to methotrexate monotherapy improved when either abatacept or infliximab were added to their methotrexate treatment regimen, with positive results sustained up to one year later.

The ATTEST (Abatacept or infliximab versus placebo, a Trial for Tolerability, Efficacy and Safety in Treating RA) trial compared abatacept (~10mg/kg), a selective T cell co-stimulation modulator, with infliximab (3mg/kg), a monoclonal antibody, plus methotrexate (as per each patient's usual dosage, mean dose 16.3-16.6mg) in 431 methotrexate-refractory patients, in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-month study. Data analyses evaluated the proportion of patients who achieved a 20% improvement in symptoms (as defined by the American College of Rheumatology scale as an ACR20 response) at six months and went on to either improve, maintain or lose this score at twelve months. A similar analysis was conducted in relation to Low Disease Activity Score (LDAS) (DAS28 [CRP] ≤3.2).

ACR Response

Of those patients who achieved an ACR20 response at six months (32 abatacept [ABA] and 27 infliximab [IFX] patients), over a quarter of ABA and IFX patients went on to achieve a 50% improvement (ACR50) at one year (ABA 28.1%, IFX 29.6%). These ACR20 scores were maintained to one year in more ABA than INF patients (95% confidence interval, CI) with over half ABA patients sustained (ABA 59.4%, IFX 44.4%). Furthermore, half as many ABA patients lost their ACR20 score between six months and one year compared to IFX patients (ABA 12.5%, IFX 25.9%).

Low Disease Activity Score

In the LDAS analysis, it was shown that 24 ABA and 23 IFX patients achieved LDAS (but not remission) at six months. Of these patients, over a third ABA (41.7% [22.8, 63.1]) and a quarter IFX patients (28% [12.9, 49.6]) achieved remission at one year. A similar number of ABA (12.5% [3.3, 33.5]) and IFX patients (16% [5.3, 36.9]) retained LDAS to one year, whilst fewer ABA patients (45.8% [26.2, 66.9]) than IFX patients (56% [35.3, 75.0]) lost their LDAS score between six months and one year.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Schiff, of the University of Colorado, USA, commented: "Since RA is a chronic disease, long term treatment efficacy is crucial. Clinical rheumatologists and patients alike need to know the options for maintaining or even increasing treatment responses over time, especially with the growing problem of RA patients becoming refractory, or resistant, to existing treatments. Our study offers significant promise in showing that, where treatment with methotrexate as monotherapy is inadequate, both abatacept and infliximab provide an increasing magnitude of response in measures of RA disease activity, with abatacept yielding slightly higher results across some key ACR and LDAS scores."

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For further information on this study, or to request an interview with the study lead, please do not hesitate to contact the EULAR congress press office on:

Email: eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com

Rory Berrie: Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7789 270 392
Camilla Dormer: Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7876 190 439

Abstract number: FRI0159

About EULAR

  • The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is the organisation which represents the patient, health professional and scientific societies of rheumatology of all the European nations.

  • The aims of EULAR are to reduce the burden of rheumatic diseases on the individual and society and to improve the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal diseases. To this end, EULAR fosters excellence in education and research in the field of rheumatology. It promotes the translation of research advances into daily care and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with musculoskeletal diseases by the governing bodies in Europe.

  • Diseases of bones and joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis cause disability in 4 - 5 % of the adult population and are predicted to rise as people live longer.

  • As new treatments emerge and cellular mechanisms are discovered, EULAR 2008 brings together more than 12,000 experts - scientists, clinicians, healthcare workers, pharmaceutical companies and patients - to share their knowledge in a global endeavour to challenge the pain and disability caused by musculo-skeletal disorders.

  • To find out more information about the activities of EULAR, visit: www.eular.org

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