Tofacitinib in psoriatic arthritis patients: skin signs and symptoms and health-related quality of life from two randomized phase 3 studies

J. F. Merola*, K. A. Papp, P. Nash, J. Gratacós, W. H. Boehncke, D. Thaçi, D. Graham, M. A. Hsu, C. Wang, J. Wu, P. Young

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic, systemic immune-mediated inflammatory musculoskeletal disease. The onset of dermatologic symptoms often precedes rheumatic manifestations. Tofacitinib is an oral Janus kinase inhibitor for the treatment of PsA that has been shown to improve dermatologic symptoms in patients with PsA. Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of tofacitinib in improving dermatologic endpoints in adult patients with active PsA. Methods: This analysis included data from two placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 3 studies in patients with active PsA and an inadequate response (IR) to ≥1 conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (csDMARD) who were tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi)-naïve (OPAL Broaden; NCT01877668) or an IR to ≥1 TNFi (OPAL Beyond; NCT01882439). Patients had active plaque psoriasis at screening and received a stable dose of one csDMARD during the study. Patients were randomized to tofacitinib 5 mg twice daily (BID), 10 mg BID, adalimumab 40 mg subcutaneous injection once every 2 weeks (OPAL Broaden only) or placebo (to Month 3). Dermatologic endpoints: Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) total score; PASI90 overall; PASI75 and PASI90 by baseline PASI severity; Physician’s Global Assessment of Psoriasis; Nail Psoriasis Severity Index; Dermatology Life Quality Index total and sub-dimension scores; Itch Severity Item; and Patient’s Global Joint and Skin Assessment-Visual Analog Scale-Psoriasis question. Results: In patients with active PsA, including those stratified by mild or moderate/severe dermatologic symptoms, greater improvements from baseline and percentage of responders were observed in tofacitinib-treated patients vs. placebo for the majority of analyzed dermatologic endpoints at Months 1 and 3, and improvements were maintained to Month 12 in OPAL Broaden and Month 6 in OPAL Beyond. Similar effects were observed in adalimumab-treated patients vs. placebo in OPAL Broaden across dermatologic endpoints. Conclusions: Tofacitinib provides a treatment option for patients with active PsA, including the burdensome dermatologic symptoms of PsA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Publication statusPublished - 09.04.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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