The EULER 2022 Congress took place this year from June 1st-4th, 2022. During that time, rheumatology professionals met to discuss trends, guidelines, and patient care within the field of rheumatology. According to Rheumatology Network, one such presentation centered around data from the Phase 3 JUVE-BASIS clinical trial. Within the trial, researchers evaluated baricitinib for patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Ultimately, the study found that baricitinib was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of JIA flares.
If you’re interested in learning more, the full study findings were published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Baricitinib as a Potential Treatment
To begin, let’s quickly assess what baricitinib is. Currently, baricitinib is approved as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). An overview on Versus Arthritis explains that baricitinib:
works by blocking the action of Janus kinase enzymes, which are involved in inflammation. Baricitinib can relieve the symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling.
In the Phase 3 JUVE-BASIS study, researchers compared the efficacy of baricitinib to placebo for improving JIA symptoms. Patients enrolled in the study ranged in age from 2 years old to just under 18 years old. Altogether, 220 patients enrolled. Findings from the study show that:
- Individuals receiving a placebo had less time in-between JIA flares, as well as had more overall flares, than those receiving baricitinib.
- Baricitinib improved JIA-ACR scores in those enrolled in the study.
- While over 50% of patients reported experiencing adverse reactions, a large majority of reactions were mild-to-moderate in nature. Thus, baricitinib was considered to be relatively safe and well-tolerated.
- This treatment option could help treat and manage JIA in patients whose condition has previously been treatment-averse.
About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
There are multiple forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a condition which causes joint inflammation in young individuals with no known cause. For example, JIA can be oligoarticular, systemic, psoriatic, enthesitis-related, and more. Typically, JIA is considered to be autoinflammatory or autoimmune. In the case of the latter, this means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own joints, causing inflammation. Those with JIA often go through periods of symptoms (“flares”) and periods of remission. Symptoms associated with JIA can include:
- Joint pain, swelling, stiffness, inflammation, and limited mobility which may worsen after sleep
- Note: In many cases, this stiffness affects the hands, feet, and knees.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Severe fatigue
- Eye inflammation such as iritis or uveitis
- Blurred vision or dry eyes
- Appetite loss
- Inhibited growth