Oral JAK Inhibitor Promising in Ankylosing Spondylitis

The oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Pfizer) might be a new option for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, according to results from a new phase 2 study.

“This is the first study to demonstrate the efficacy of a JAK inhibitor in patients with ankylosing spondylitis,” said Desiree van der Heijde, MD, from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

“Right now, only about one-quarter of patients with ankylosing spondylitis achieve sustained remission, even with targeted molecular therapies, which is not a very high remission rate,” she told Medscape Medical News. “It would be good to have another drug to treat the disease.”

“Our data are quite consistent, especially if you look at objective measures of response,” she pointed out. “We saw no new safety signals, beyond those we’ve seen in other rheumatic diseases, so I think the data are promising.”

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