Efficacy and safety of biological DMARDs: a systematic literature review informing the 2022 update of the ASAS-EULAR recommendations for the management of axial spondyloarthritis

Casper Webers, Augusta Ortolan, Alexandre Sepriano, Louise Falzon, Xenofon Baraliakos, Robert B.M. Landewé, Sofia Ramiro, Désirée Van Der Heijde, Elena Nikiphorou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To update the evidence on efficacy and safety of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) to inform the 2022 update of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society/European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (ASAS-EULAR) recommendations for the management of axSpA. Methods: Systematic literature review (2016-2021) on efficacy and safety of bDMARDs in axSpA (radiographic axSpA (r-axSpA)/non-radiographic axSpA (nr-axSpA)). Eligible study designs included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), strategy trials and observational studies (the latter only for safety and extra-musculoskeletal manifestations). All relevant efficacy/safety outcomes were included. Results: In total, 148 publications were included. Efficacy of golimumab and certolizumab was confirmed. Tumour necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) biosimilar-originator equivalence was demonstrated. RCT (n=15) data on efficacy of interleukin-17 inhibitors (IL-17i) demonstrated clinically relevant effects (risk ratio vs placebo to achieve ASAS40 response 1.3-15.3 (r-axSpA, n=9), 1.4-2.1 (nr-axSpA, n=2)). Efficacy of secukinumab/ixekizumab was demonstrated in TNFi-naïve and TNFi-inadequate responders. IL-23 and IL-12/23 inhibitors (risankizumab/ustekinumab) failed to show relevant benefits. Tapering of TNFi by spacing was non-inferior to standard-dose treatment. The first axSpA treat-to-target trial did not meet its primary endpoint, but showed improvements in secondary outcomes. No new risks were identified with TNFi use in observational studies (data lacking for IL-17i). Secukinumab (n=1) and etanercept (n=2) were associated with increased risk of uveitis in observational studies compared to monoclonal TNFi. Conclusions: New evidence supports the efficacy and safety of TNFi (originators/biosimilars) and IL-17i in r-axSpA and nr-axSpA, while IL-23i failed to show relevant effects. Observational studies are needed to confirm long-term IL-17i safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA80
Pages (from-to)130-141
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Volume82
Issue number1
Early online date21 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • axial spondyloarthritis
  • biological therapy
  • spondylitis, ankylosing
  • tumour necrosis factor inhibitors

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