Eli Lilly and Incyte announced Thursday mid-stage results showing that clinical improvements seen at week 24  in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with baricitinib were sustained at the end of 52 weeks. The companies previously reported  that the therapy was associated with significant improvements in symptoms compared to placebo after 12 weeks.
The long-term extension phase of the JADA study included 201 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with either 4 milligrams or 8 milligrams of baricitinib dosed once-daily from week 24 to week 52. Results, which were presented at the EULAR congress, showed that 71 percent of patients exhibited a 20 percent improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms after 52 weeks of treatment, compared to 74 percent after 24 weeks. Similarly, 49 percent of patients displayed a 50 percent improvement in symptoms after 52 weeks, versus 41 percent after 24 weeks, while 27 percent of patients showed a 70 percent improvement after 52 weeks, compared to 21 percent after 24 weeks.
Baricitinib, an orally administered selective JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor, is currently in Phase III development for rheumatoid arthritis and the drug is also being investigated in psoriasis and diabetic nephropathy. In 2009, Eli Lilly and Incyte signed  an exclusive global licence agreement for the development and commercialization of baricitinib and certain follow-on compounds for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.