To assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had failed anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy and were switched to abatacept directly or after completing washout.In this international, 6-month, open-label trial, patients had active RA, an inadequate response to anti-TNF therapy for 3 months or longer and a disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28 (C-reactive protein; CRP) of 5.1 or greater. "Washout" patients discontinued anti-TNF therapy 2 months or longer pre-screening; "direct-switch" patients began abatacept ( approximately 10 mg/kg) at their next scheduled anti-TNF therapy dose.1046 patients were treated (449 washout, 597 direct-switch; baseline characteristics were similar between groups). At 6 months, adverse events (AE; 78.0% vs 79.2%), serious AE (11.1% vs 9.9%) and discontinuations due to AE (3.8% vs 4.0%) and serious AE (2.0% vs 1.3%) were comparable in washout versus direct-switch patients. There were no opportunistic infections. At 6 months, in washout versus direct-switch patients, similar clinically meaningful improvements were seen in DAS28 (CRP) (> or =1.2 unit improvement, 59.5% vs 53.6%, respectively; low disease activity state, 22.5% vs 22.3%; DAS28-defined remission, 12.0% vs 13.7%), physical function (health assessment questionnaire disability index > or =0.22 improvement; 46.3% vs 47.1%) and health-related quality of life (mean change in short-form 36 scores: physical component summary, 5.5 vs 6.1; mental component summary, 4.8 vs 5.4).Abatacept demonstrated acceptable safety and tolerability and clinically meaningful efficacy over 6 months in patients with inadequate response to anti-TNF therapy. Results were comparable with or without a washout, supporting direct switching from anti-TNF therapy to abatacept as an option in clinical practice. Trial registration number: NCT00124982.
View details for DOI 10.1136/ard.2008.099218
View details for Web of Science ID 000270700900010
View details for PubMedID 19074911