A multicentre, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial of anakinra (Kineret), a recombinant interleukin 1 receptor antagonist, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with background methotrexate

S. B. Cohen, L. W. Moreland, J. J. Cush, M. W. Greenwald, S. Block, W. J. Shergy, P. S. Hanrahan, M. M. Khraishi, A. Patel, G. Sun, M. B. Bear

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234 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of 100 mg daily anakinra (Kineret), a recombinant form of the naturally occurring interleukin 1 receptor antagonist, plus methotrexate (MTX) in reducing the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Patients with active RA (n = 506) despite current treatment with MTX were enrolled in this multicentre, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study. Patients received subcutaneous injections of anakinra 100 mg/day or placebo. They were assessed monthly for 6 months for improvement in signs and symptoms of RA and for adverse events. The primary efficacy measure was the percentage of patients attaining ACR20 response at week 24. Results: Significantly greater proportions of patients treated with anakinra compared with placebo achieved ACR20 (38% v 22%; p<0.001), ACR50 (17% v 8%; p<0.01), and ACR70 (6% v 2%; p<0.05) responses. The response to anakinra was rapid; the proportion of patients with an ACR20 response at the first study assessment (4 weeks) was twice as high with anakinra as with placebo (p<0.005). Clinically meaningful and statistically significant responses were also seen in individual components of the ACR response (for example, Health Assessment Questionnaire, pain, C reactive protein levels, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate). Anakinra was well tolerated, with a safety profile, similar to that of placebo with one exception: mild to moderate injection site reactions were more common with anakinra than with placebo (65% v 24%). Conclusions: This study confirms previous observations from a dose-ranging study showing that anakinra, in combination with MTX, is an effective and safe treatment for patients with RA who have inadequate responses to MTX alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1068
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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