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08-12-2020 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

IL-6 ‘not a relevant therapeutic target’ in primary Sjögren’s syndrome

Author: Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Treatment with the interleukin (IL)-6 receptor inhibitor tocilizumab does not improve clinical outcomes for patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS), suggest findings from the ETAP trial.

The phase 2/3 study included 110 patients with pSS and a EULAR Sjögren’s Syndrome Disease Activity Index (ESSDAI) score of at least 5 points who were randomly assigned to receive six once-monthly infusions of tocilizumab 8 mg/kg or placebo.

Jacques-Eric Gottenberg (Hôpital de Hautepierre, Strasbourg, France) and co-investigators report that rates of treatment response at week 24 – defined as a decrease in ESSDAI of 3 points or more, no occurrence of moderate or severe activity in any new ESSDAI domain, and no worsening in physician global assessment – did not significantly differ in the tocilizumab and placebo arms, at 52.7% and 63.6%, respectively. There were also no significant between-group differences in patient-reported and immunologic outcomes.

“Altogether, these negative results […] indicate that IL-6 does not represent a relevant therapeutic target in pSS,” write Gottenberg and team in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

They note that clinical efficacy of tocilizumab “is usually observed rapidly, within a few weeks of treatment” in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or giant cell arteritis, and “[t]herefore, a longer-term evaluation of the primary endpoint (after 6 months) would not have changed the overall results.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2020 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

Ann Rheum Dis 2020; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218467