Comparative Efficacy of JAK Inhibitors for Moderate-To-Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Network Meta-Analysis

Advances in Therapy


Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are a class of targeted therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with established clinical efficacy. However, little is known about their efficacy compared with each other. This network meta-analysis (NMA) estimated the comparative efficacy of JAK inhibitors currently approved for RA.


A targeted literature review was conducted for phase III randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the efficacy of three approved JAK inhibitors (tofacitinib, baricitinib, and upadacitinib) as monotherapy or combination therapy among patients with moderate-to-severe RA who had inadequate response to conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARD-IR). Using Bayesian NMA, American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20/50/70 responses and clinical remission (defined as DAS28-CRP < 2.6) were evaluated separately at 12 and 24 weeks.


Eleven RCTs were identified and included in the NMA. All JAK inhibitors demonstrated significantly better efficacy than csDMARD. Among combination therapies, upadacitinib 15 mg had the highest 12-week ACR50 responses (median [95% credible interval]: 43.4% [33.4%, 54.5%]), followed by tofacitinib 5 mg (38.7% [28.6%, 49.8%]), baricitinib 2 mg (37.1% [25.0%, 50.6%]), and baricitinib 4 mg (36.7%, [27.2%, 47.0%]). Similar results were observed for ACR20/70 and at week 24. Upadacitinib 15 mg + csDMARD was also found to have the highest clinical remission rates at week 12 (29.8% [16.9%, 47.0%]), followed by tofacitinib 5 mg (24.3%, [12.7%, 40.2%]), baricitinib 4 mg (22.8%, [11.8%, 37.5%]), and baricitinib 2 mg (20.1%, [8.6%, 37.4%]). Similar results were seen at week 24. Among monotherapies, upadacitinib had a higher ACR50 response (38.5% [25.3%, 53.2%]) than tofacitinib (30.4% [18.3%, 45.5%]). The differences in efficacy measures were not statistically significant between the JAK inhibitors.


The NMA found that upadacitinib 15 mg once daily had numerically higher efficacy in terms of ACR response and clinical remission among approved JAK combination therapies and monotherapies for csDMARD-IR patients with RA.

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Pope J, Sawant R, Tundia N, Du EX, Qi CZ, Song Y, Tang P, Betts KA