Filgotinib is in development for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as front-line therapy or for those which previous treatment with a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) has not worked or are unable to take it. RA is a long-term, autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The condition occurs in women more often than men. The symptoms usually affect the hands, feet and wrists. There may be periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups. Some people with RA also experience problems in other parts of the body, or more general symptoms such as tiredness and weight loss.
Filgotinib is a new Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor. JAK pathways are involved in the inflammatory process in RA. Filgotinib is highly selective for JAK1. By blocking the JAK1 pathway, filgotinib may help ease the RA symptoms. Filgotinib can be taken orally as a tablet once a day and it has shown to be safe. Filgotinib may be taken as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate or other non-biologic DMARDs. If approved for the treatment of moderate to severe RA, filgotinib will offer an additional front line or a later line treatment option for this population group.
Tofacitinib works by blocking the action of enzymes known as Janus kinases. These enzymes play an important role in the inflammatory process. By blocking the enzymes’ action, tofacitinib helps reduce the inflammation and other symptoms of these diseases. Tofacitinib is an oral alternative to the available biological medicines for children with JIA, most of which are administered by injection. If licensed, tofacitinib may offer an additional treatment option for polyarticular JIA with the potential advantage of improving the quality of life of children due to its oral formulation.