2020 was a significant year in rheumatology. Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this year. Like last year, stories of interest were drug comparisons among medications treat rheumatic diseases; new to the top 10 are stories about the connection between rheumatic diseases and COVID-19, as well as ever-emerging research into how drugs used to treat rheumatic diseases may be repurposed for COVID-19 treatment.
- How Does AbbVie’s RA Drug Rinvoq Compare to Competitors?
This story makes the list for the second year in a row! In 2019, AbbVie announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug Rinvoq (upadacitinib). Rinvoq is an oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor designed for the treatment of moderate to severe RA in patients who did not respond or have an intolerance to methotrexate. The company reported at the time that the JAK inhibitor would be available in the United States in August of 2019. Read on to see how DocWire compared Rinvoq to competitors fellow JAK inhibitors Olumiant and Xeljans, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Pfizer, respectively.
- Do Inflammatory and Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases Affect COVID-19 Illness Severity?
There were a lot of stories on the connection between rheumatic diseases and COVID-19. One such study found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with connective tissue diseases may be at risk for increased illness severity, but inflammatory arthritis may not have the same effect.
- How Does Amgen’s Osteoporosis Drug EVENITY Compare to Competitors?
2019’s reigning number one story comes in at number three this year. Following the FDA’s approval of its approval of its osteoporosis drug romosozumab-aqqg (Evenity), Amgen announced the medication would be available in the United States at $1,825 per monthly dose, or $21,900 for a full, one-year course of treatment. Fellow bone-building competitors include Radius Health Inc.’s Tymlos and Eli Lilly and Co.’s Forteo, both of which also have longer courses of treatment. Read on to see how these three drugs compare in cost.
- Coronavirus May Be a Risk Factor for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Respiratory viral infections may put patients at risk for developing RA, suggesting concerns for patients who develop coronavirus, according to a report published in August 2019 that resurfaced amid the current coronavirus pandemic. An association was observed between ambient respiratory viral infections in the population and an increase in incident RA over time, with a peak at six to seven weeks following exposure. The three viruses most associated with an increase in incident RA were parainfluenza virus (4.8% for 1% respiratory viral infection increase), coronavirus (9.2%), and metapneumovirus (44%). Patients who were impacted the most were women (3.8%, 12.1%, and 67.4%, respectively) and older patients (10.7%, 14.6%, and 118.2%, respectively).
- Taltz vs. Cosentyx: How Do These Rheumatic Drugs Compare?
Another veteran story from 2019. Last year, the FDA expanded the indication of Eli Lilly and Company’s Taltz (ixekizumab) to include active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The humanized interleukin-17A antagonist initially received approval in 2016 for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, and in 2017 of active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). It now competes with Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab), which is indicated to treat the same three rheumatic diseases. Cosentyx garnered FDA approval in 2015 for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, and picked up the subsequent approvals for AS and PsA in 2016. Learn more here.
Here are the five stories rounding out the top 10 list:
- Voltaren Arthritis Pain Receives FDA Approval for Over-the-counter Sale: How Does It Compare to Other Topical Treatments?
- Despite Infection Warning, Arthritis Drug Baricitinib Will Be Tested in Seriously Ill COVID-19 Patients
- Roche’s Tocilizumab Does Not Improve COVID-19 Pneumonia, More Research Underway
- Colchicine May Improve Clinical Outcomes in COVID-19 Patients, Further Research Needed
- How Do Knee Replacements Fare in Morbidly Obese Patients?