Upadacitinib for active psoriatic arthritis with inadequate response to biological or non-biological DMARDs
Upadacitinib is in clinical development for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis who have an inadequate response to at least one biological or non-biological Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug (DMARDs). Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis affecting the joints and connective tissue and is associated with psoriasis of the skin or nails. Around two in every five people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. Although the exact cause of the disease still remains unknown, it is thought to occur as a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissues around the joint and bones. Psoriatic arthritis can get progressively worse and may lead to the joints becoming permanently damaged or deformed.
Upadacitinib acts by selectively blocking the Janus-Associated Kinase 1 (JAK1) enzymes that mediate the pathways involved in the inflammatory process in psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. There are emerging body of evidence establishing that JAK-dependent enzymes are major contributors to the progression of immune-mediated diseases such as psoriatic arthritis and that blocking such enzymes can be beneficial. Recent research suggests that selective JAK inhibitors may decrease adverse effects, and thus increase safety and efficacy. Upadacitinib is taken orally and if licensed, it will offer an additional treatment option for patients with active psoriatic arthritis who have an inadequate response to at least one biological or non-biological DMARDs.