Smolen, J. S. et al. Effect of interleukin-6 receptor inhibition with tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (OPTION study): a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial. Lancet 371, 987-997

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 03/2008; 371(9617):987-97. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60453-5
Source: PubMed


Interleukin 6 is involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis via its broad effects on immune and inflammatory responses. Our aim was to assess the therapeutic effects of blocking interleukin 6 by inhibition of the interleukin-6 receptor with tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
In this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel group phase III study, 623 patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned with an interactive voice response system, stratified by site with a randomisation list provided by the study sponsor, to receive tocilizumab 8 mg/kg (n=205), tocilizumab 4 mg/kg (214), or placebo (204) intravenously every 4 weeks, with methotrexate at stable pre-study doses (10-25 mg/week). Rescue therapy with tocilizumab 8 mg/kg was offered at week 16 to patients with less than 20% improvement in both swollen and tender joint counts. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with 20% improvement in signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis according to American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20 response) at week 24. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with, number NCT00106548.
The intention-to-treat analysis population consisted of 622 patients: one patient in the 4 mg/kg group did not receive study treatment and was thus excluded. At 24 weeks, ACR20 responses were seen in more patients receiving tocilizumab than in those receiving placebo (120 [59%] patients in the 8 mg/kg group, 102 [48%] in the 4 mg/kg group, 54 [26%] in the placebo group; odds ratio 4.0 [95% CI 2.6-6.1], p<0.0001 for 8 mg/kg vs placebo; and 2.6 [1.7-3.9], p<0.0001 for 4 mg/kg vs placebo). More people receiving tocilizumab than those receiving placebo had at least one adverse event (143 [69%] in the 8 mg/kg group; 151 [71%] in the 4 mg/kg group; 129 [63%] in the placebo group). The most common serious adverse events were serious infections or infestations, reported by six patients in the 8 mg/kg group, three in the 4 mg/kg group, and two in the placebo group.
Tocilizumab could be an effective therapeutic approach in patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis.
F Hoffmann-La Roche, Chugai Pharmaceutical.

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    • "Tocilizumab (TCZ) is a humanized monoclonal antibody against IL-6 receptor (IL-6R). It inhibits the signal transduction of IL-6 through binding to IL-6R [12], and thus being widely used as an immunosuppressive drug of IL-6-induced immune diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis [13]. However, the function of TCZ in cerebral infarction is still elusive. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral infarction is a severe hypoxic ischemic necrosis with accelerated neuronal cell apoptosis in the brain. As a monoclonal antibody against interleukin 6, tocilizumab (TCZ) is widely used in immune diseases, whose function in cerebral infarction has not been studied. This study aims to reveal the role of TCZ in regulating neuronal cell apoptosis in cerebral infarction. The cerebral infarction rat model was constructed by middle cerebral artery occlusion and treated with TCZ. Cell apoptosis in hippocampus and cortex of the brain was examined with TUNEL method. Rat neuronal cells cultured in oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) conditions and treated with TCZ were used to compare cell viability and apoptosis. Apoptosis-related factors including B-cell lymphoma extra large (Bcl-xL) and Caspase 3, as well as the phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3) in brain cortex were analyzed from the protein level. Results indicated that TCZ treatment could significantly prevent the promoted cell apoptosis caused by cerebral infarction or OGD (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). In brain cortex of the rat model, TCZ up-regulated Bcl-xL and down-regulated Caspase 3, consistent with the inhibited cell apoptosis. It also promoted tyrosine 705 phosphorylation of STAT3, which might be the potential regulatory mechanism of TCZ in neuronal cells. This study provided evidence for the protective role of TCZ against neuronal cell apoptosis in cerebral infarction. Based on these fundamental data, TCZ is a promising option for treating cerebral infarction, but further investigations on related mechanisms are still necessary.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences / Udruzenje basicnih mediciniskih znanosti = Association of Basic Medical Sciences
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    • "rhIL-6 was shown to activate lipolysis and fat oxidation in humans (vanHall et al., 2003), while increasing insulin-stimulated glucose uptake via 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation (Carey et al., 2006). In contrast, patients treated for rheumatoid arthritis with the IL-6R antibody Tocilizumab experienced an increase in serum total cholesterol (Smolen et al., 2008), as well as an increase in body weight and serum triglycerides (Nishimoto et al., 2005). These effects point towards a possible beneficial role of IL-6 signaling for glucose and lipid metabolism. "

    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Experimental Biology
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    • "Input Base Low High Source Population characteristics Age (y), mean 54 48 59 [12] Body weight (kg) 77 70 85 – Sex: female, % 80 72 89 [12] Starting HAQ score, mean 1.65 1.49 1.82 [10] "
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of tocilizumab (TCZ) monotherapy (Mono) versus adalimumab (ADA) Mono from the US payer perspective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis for whom methotrexate is inappropriate. We compared TCZ Mono (8 mg/kg monthly) with ADA Mono (40 mg every other week), using efficacy results from a head-to-head study, ADalimumab ACTemrA (ADACTA). We calculated the incremental cost per responder (achievement of American College of Rheumatology [ACR] 20% improvement criteria, ACR 50% improvement criteria, ACR 70% improvement criteria, or low disease activity score) for TCZ versus ADA at 6 months. A patient-level simulation was used to estimate the lifetime incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) of initiating treatment with TCZ Mono versus ADA Mono. Both drugs are followed by an etanercept-certolizumab-palliative care sequence. Nonresponders discontinue at 6 months; responders experience a constant probability of discontinuation. Discontinuers move to the next treatment. ACR responses produce changes in the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score. We mapped the HAQ score to utility to estimate QALYs. Costs include those related to hospitalization and those related to treatment (drug acquisition, administration, and monitoring). Probabilistic and one-way sensitivity analyses were conducted, along with several scenario analyses. Compared with ADA, TCZ was more effective, with an estimated 6-month incremental cost ranging from $6,570 per additional low disease activity score achiever to $14,265 per additional ACR 70% improvement criteria responder. The lifetime incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $36,944/QALY. TCZ Mono is projected to be cost-effective compared with ADA Mono in patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis for whom methotrexate is not appropriate, from a US payer perspective. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Value in Health
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