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Biologics

Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis-associated Interstitial Lung Disease

May 12, 2021

Sparks and colleagues have published a matched cohort analysis demonstrating risk factors that may augment the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD), especially the combination of obesity, high CRP, high MD-HAQ and >30 pack-year smoking history

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Insurers Bet Big on Bribing Patients

Madelaine Feldman, MD, and Jay Salliotte
May 11, 2021

Last month, psoriasis patients covered by Cigna received a curious letter from the insurance giant's pharmacy management division. They could receive a $500 debit card from Cigna, with just one string attached: they would have to switch to a different medication, one preferred by the insurer

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AURORA-1: Voclosporin Efficacy in Lupus Nephritis

May 11, 2021

Lancet has published the results of the AURORA-1 trial, wherein the calcineurin inhibitor, voclosporin, was tested in a placebo controlled trial of lupus nephritis and shown to be effective at inducing a complete renal response.

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FDA Advisors Split on Avacopan for Vasculitis

MedPage Today
May 10, 2021

Members of an FDA advisory panel were sharply divided as to whether avacopan, an oral small molecule inhibitor of the C5a receptor, was sufficiently safe and effective for treating antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis.



As to whether the efficacy data

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Avacopan for ANCA Vasculitis Goes in Front of the FDA

MedPage Today
May 07, 2021

An FDA advisory panel will consider whether to recommend approval of an oral C5a inhibitor for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, with agency staff raising questions over the "clinical meaningfulness" of key study data.

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RheumNow Podcast – Falling or Falling in Love?

May 06, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the best journal articles from the past week on RheumNow.com.

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ARTIC REWIND - Don't Half DMARD Therapy

May 06, 2021

The ARTIC-REWIND study examined rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in remission on conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) to see if they could "step-down" their csDMARDs theray; but  the study showed that 25% those who went on half-dose experienced disease

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Drug Monitoring Ineffective with Infliximab Treatment

May 05, 2021

The predictive value of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) while on biologics is debateable; gastroenterology routinely relies on TDM, while rheumatologists do not. A randomized trial compared TDM to no TDM in patients receiving infliximab for chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (

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Results Disappoint for Fecal Transplant in Arthritis

MedPage Today
May 04, 2021

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) showed disappointing results among patients with active psoriatic arthritis, a small randomized trial found.



During 26 weeks of follow-up, the risk of treatment failure was higher among patients receiving FMT compared with those given a sham

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RheumNow Podcast – Uppers and Downers

Apr 30, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports from the past week on RheumNow.com.

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Tofacitinib in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Apr 28, 2021

A phase III trial assessing the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib in adults with with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) shows that JAK inhibitiion was superior to placebo in a 48 week study.



A total of 269 adult AS patients with a prior an inadequate response or intolerance to ≥2

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Psoriatic Pregnancies Pose Risks to the Mother, Not Child

Apr 27, 2021

A metanalysis of pregnancy outcomes in women with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis finds an excess risk of adverse maternal events, but not adverse neonatal events.



This systematic review included 16 studies meeting inclusion criteria. 



Overall they found that pregnant women

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Dual IL-17 Targeting is Effective but has More Candidiasis

Apr 27, 2021

Bimekizumab (BIM) is a monoclonal antibody that targets both interleukin-17A and interleukin-17F, which as a biologic target has worked well in the management of psoriatic disease. The current issue of the NEJM has two reports wherein BIM was shown to be more effective than secukinumab and

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RheumNow Podcast – Coconspirators: RA and Lung Disease

Apr 23, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews and discusses more than a dozen news and journal articles from the past week on RheumNow.com.

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BSRBR: Demyelinating Disease Following Anti-TNFα Therapy

Apr 21, 2021

Analysis of patients receiving anti–tumor necrosis factor α (TNFi) therapy in the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register (BSRBR) shows that the risk of demyelination is rare but is marginally incrased by taking TNFi therapy. 



From their large registry (n=13,489) they

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Increased Risk of COPD in ACPA+ Pre-RA Patients

Apr 21, 2021

The lung and its pathology is uniquely tied to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its pathogenesis.  A new study shows that elevation of anti–citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) before diagnosis of RA increases the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or asthma

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New Side Effect From mRNA COVID Vaccines?

MedPage Today
Apr 20, 2021

Herpes zoster reactivation -- a.k.a. shingles -- following COVID-19 vaccination in six patients with comorbid autoimmune/inflammatory diseases may be a new adverse event associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine, suggested a new report.



At two centers in Israel, there have been

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Broadalumab Efficacy in Axial Spondyloarthritis

Apr 19, 2021

Broadalumab (Siliq), an anti-interleukin-17 receptor A monoclonal antibody, is currently FDA- approved for use in adults with plaque psoriasis; but a recent trial shows it to be effective in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA).

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RheumNow Podcast – Combination Biologics

Apr 16, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush serves up this week's news and articles from RheumNow.com.

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IL-23 Targeting for Enthesitis in Psoriatic Arthritis

MedPage Today
Apr 13, 2021

Treatment with guselkumab (Tremfya) was effective in resolving enthesitis among patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a post-hoc analysis of two phase III trials found.



At week 24, 45% of patients receiving subcutaneous guselkumab every 4 weeks and 50% of those given the medication

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Low Risk of Malignancy with Secukinumab

Apr 12, 2021

Analysis of ongoing safety from the secukinumab (SEC) drug development program shows a low risk for malignancy in SEC patients treated for up to five years for either psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or ankylosing spondylitis (AS).



Safety data from 10,685 psoriasis, 2,523 PsA and

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DMARD Dropouts During COVID-19

Apr 12, 2021

A full year from the onset of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, rheumatologists are still seeing the consequences of COVID, with many patients avoiding usual care, follow-up visits, routine lab testing and with many self-stopping their antirheumatic meds, because it seemed like the right thing to do

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Can Targeting RANKL in RA Heal Erosions?

MedPage Today
Apr 07, 2021

Treatment with denosumab (Prolia) helped heal bone erosions over 2 years among patients with rheumatoid arthritis whose disease activity was well controlled, researchers reported.

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Rheumatology Care Derailed by COVID-19

Apr 06, 2021

A survey study from the  ArthritisPower PPRN or CreakyJoints database shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic patient care was substantially affected in unforeseen ways.



Data from the ArthritisPower Patient-Powered Research Network and CreakyJoints patient community were gathered by

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Rituximab in Systemic Sclerosis?

Apr 05, 2021

No drug is FDA approved to manage the skin or joint complaints of systemic sclerosis (SSc); a recent metanalysis suggests that rituximab may improve skin score and disease activity indices (DAS, mRSS) while stabilizing organ involvement in SSc patients.

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