Efficacy and safety of upadacitinib maintenance therapy for moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis in patients responding to 8 week induction therapy (U-ACHIEVE Maintenance): overall results from the randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 3 maintenance study

Séverine Vermeire, Silvio Danese, Wen Zhou, Dapo Ilo, Justin Klaff, Gweneth Levy, Xuan Yao, Su Chen, Yuri Sanchez Gonzalez, Xavier Hébuterne, James O. Lindsay, Peter D.R. Higgins, Qian Cao, Hiroshi Nakase, Jean Frédéric Colombel, Edward V. Loftus, Remo Panaccione

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Abstract

Background: Upadacitinib is an oral, selective, and reversible JAK inhibitor with demonstrated efficacy in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis in a phase 2b induction trial, two phase 3 induction trials (U-ACHIEVE Induction and U-ACCOMPLISH), and a primary analysis of the first 451 patients entering a subsequent maintenance trial (U-ACHIEVE Maintenance). Here, we present overall results from the entire U-ACHIEVE Maintenance population. Methods: In this randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 3 maintenance study done across Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region at 251 clinical centres in 44 countries, patients aged 16–75 years with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (adapted Mayo score 5–9, centrally assessed endoscopic subscore of 2 or 3) for 90 days or more were randomly assigned (2:1) to double-blind upadacitinib 45 mg once daily or placebo induction therapy in the phase 2b induction trial or two phase 3 induction trials. Patients with a clinical response per adapted Mayo score after 8 weeks were randomly reassigned (1:1:1) using web-based interactive response technology to 52 week double-blind maintenance therapy with placebo, upadacitinib 15 mg, or upadacitinib 30 mg once daily. Efficacy was analysed at week 52 in the intention-to-treat population, which included all patients randomly reassigned who received at least one dose of study drug. The primary endpoint was clinical remission per adapted Mayo score. Safety through week 52 was assessed with exposure-adjusted event rates (EAERs; events per 100 patient-years) in upadacitinib 45 mg once daily 8-week induction responders who were enrolled per protocol for 44-week or 52-week maintenance therapy (ie, the intention-to-treat population plus patients who received up to 44 weeks' maintenance therapy under earlier protocol amendments) and received at least one dose of study drug. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02819635 and is complete. Findings: Between Sept 3, 2016, and Jan 14, 2021 987 patients received the upadacitinib 45 mg once daily induction therapy in the phase 2b trial, U-ACHIEVE Induction, or U-ACCOMPLISH. 681 patients with a clinical response to the induction therapy (319 from U-ACHIEVE Induction, 341 from U-ACCOMPLISH, and 21 from the phase 2b induction trial) received placebo (n=223), upadacitinib 15 mg once daily (n=225), or upadacitinib 30 mg once daily (n=233) in U-ACHIEVE Maintenance and were included in this analysis. A greater proportion of patients achieved the primary endpoint with upadacitinib 15 mg (40·4%) and 30 mg once daily (53·6%) versus placebo (10·8%; both p<0·0001 vs placebo). For safety, 746 patients were analysed, representing 552·9 patient-years of exposure; the most common grade 3–4 treatment-emergent adverse events were worsening of ulcerative colitis in nine (4%) patients with placebo, and COVID-19 pneumonia and cryptococcal pneumonia in two (1%) patients each with upadacitinib 30 mg once daily. Higher EAERs of the following treatment-emergent events of special interest were observed with upadacitinib versus placebo: herpes zoster (6·0 events per 100 patient-years with upadacitinib 15 mg once daily and 7·3 events per 100 patient-years with upadacitinib 30 mg once daily vs none per 100 patient-years with placebo [12 and 16 vs no events, respectively), hepatic disorders (17·0 and 9·2 vs 5·9 events per 100 patient-years [34 and 20 vs eight events, respectively), creatine phosphokinase elevation (8·0 and 10·1 vs 3·7 events per 100 patient-years [16 and 22 vs five events], respectively), and neutropenia (5·5 and 8·7 vs 5·2 events per 100 patient-years [11 and 19 vs seven events], respectively). One (<1% of patients) adjudicated major adverse cardiovascular event occurred with placebo and one (<1% of patients) with upadacitinib 30 mg once daily (EAERs 0·7 and 0·5 events per 100 patient-years, respectively). Two (1% of patients) venous thromboembolic events occurred with upadacitinib 15 mg once daily and two (1% of patients) with upadacitinib 30 mg once daily (EAERs 1·0 and 0·9 events per 100 patient-years, respectively). All adjudicated major adverse cardiovascular events and venous thromboembolic events with upadacitinib occurred in patients with relevant known risk factors. Interpretation: Consistent with the primary analysis done among a smaller population, both maintenance doses of upadacitinib showed a positive benefit–risk profile in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Upadacitinib represents an effective treatment option for this population, for whom a large unmet need persists. Funding: AbbVie.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-989
Number of pages14
JournalThe Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

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