New Data on RINVOQ and HUMIRA Presented at ACR Convergence 2020

From November 5 through 9th, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) held their ACR Convergence 2020. Though the annual meeting took place online, it was still rife with insights into treatments, care, and research around rheumatic diseases. In a press release, biopharmaceutical company AbbVie shared that the company would be presenting data on RINVOQ (upadacitinib) and HUMIRA (adalimumab) for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. These conditions include ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.


At the ACR Convergence 2020, AbbVie presented a number of rheumatology-related abstracts. Some of these included:

  • Incidence and Risk of Venous Thromboembolic Events Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Enrolled in the Upadacitinib Clinical Trial Program. Abstract #0215.
  • Efficacy and Safety of Upadacitinib in Patients with Active Psoriatic Arthritis and Inadequate Response to Biologic Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs: A Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Phase 3 Trial. Abstract #0504.
  • Effect of Upadacitinib on Reducing Pain in Patients with Active Ankylosing Spondylitis and Inadequate Response to Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Abstract #0369.

Other abstract numbers included #: 0237, 0212, 0209, 0207, 1231, 0228, 2002, 1728, 1996, 2023, 2026, 0896, 1341, 1371, 1350, and 1355. You may search for a full list of abstracts here.

Throughout the presentations, AbbVie discussed the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of RINVOQ for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. These studies were conducted over a period of time, ranging from 5-6 months for patients with AS and PsA to 84 weeks (19 months) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

RINVOQ is a selective and reversible JAK inhibitor. Currently, it is indicated for patients with severe RA who do not respond well to methotrexate, the primary standard of care. In addition to RA, researchers are analyzing RINVOQ as a potential treatment for patients with axial spondyloarthritis, ulcerative colitis (UC), giant cell arteritis, atopic dermatitis, and more in a series of Phase 3 clinical trials.

RINVOQ Safety Data

Generally, no tests have been done to evaluate RINVOQ in pediatric patients. As a result, it should not be prescribed to patients under 18 years old. Common side effects include nausea, fever, cough, and symptoms of a common cold. However, patients should speak to their doctor if experiencing:

  • Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
  • Persistent fever
  • Any signs of an infection
    • Because RINVOQ may lower your ability to fight infections, or act as an immunosuppressant, any signs of an infection are extremely serious and should be evaluated immediately.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Body sores
  • Muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Inflammation


During ACR Convergence 2020, AbbVie also presented on HUMIRA, a prescription therapy for adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it can also be used in conjunction with other treatments for patients with severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, adults with psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, patients with hidradenitis supparativa, and both pediatric and adult patients with Crohn’s disease.

HUMIRA is a TNF blocker administered subcutaneously. Because it is immunosuppressive, patients should speak to their doctors if experiencing:

  • Signs of an infection or allergic reaction
  • Psoriasis or heart failure
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Injection site reactions
  • Sinus infections or other upper respiratory issues

Rheumatic Disorders

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Many environmental and genetic factors play a role in ankylosing spondylitis (AS), part of a group of spondyloarthropathies. For example, a HLA-B27 gene mutation has been linked to AS, as have IL1A, IL23R, and ERAP1 mutations. However, simply having this mutation does not automatically mean that someone will develop AS. The condition causes chronic spinal inflammation, which often spreads and affects the hips, knees, and shoulders. Symptoms include:

  • Joint inflammation and stiffness
  • Uveitis (ocular inflammation)
  • Vision loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Typically, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects females more than males, and increases in prevalence with age. RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder which causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can impact many joints, including the hands and feet. In some patients, RA progresses over time; in others, it plateaus. Patients may experience symptomatic periods and periods of remission. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Joint and muscle pain, swelling, and tenderness
  • Bumps or swelling under the skin
  • Skin redness

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Although doctors are not entirely sure what causes psoriatic arthritis (PsA), an estimated 40% of patients have some family history. This inflammatory arthritis occurs in conjunction with psoriasis. It can impact any joint in the body. Symptoms include:

  • Red skin with flaky, silvery scales
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Morning stiffness and tiredness
  • Conjunctivitis or other eye problems
  • Lower range of motion
  • Joint and tendon swelling and pains
  • Nail changes
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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