As rheumatology evolves, it can be challenging to stay current with the latest research and treatments. The Handoff is a weekly roundup of the most important news and updates in rheumatic diseases. Keep your finger on the pulse of rheumatology with The Handoff.


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–Researchers presenting at the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Annual Meeting suggest that total ankle arthroplasty can improve function and gait in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). 

–Patients with RA who had history of inadequate treatment responses to bDMARDs showed positive responses to treatment with baricitinib, a highly selective JAK1/2 inhibitor. The corresponding study—RA-BEACON (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01721044)—was recently published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

–Another RA drug—Boehringer Ingelheim’s BI 695501 biologic—demonstrated its efficacy compared to adalimumab (Humira®, AbbVie) in a parallel-arm, multiple dose, phase 3 clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02137226).  

–A single-center, cross-sectional study of patients with psoriatic arthritis has linked elevated rates of fibromyalgia to rheumatic diseases.Results were published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

–Preliminary results from the phase 3 POSTURE study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01583374) were recently published online. Data suggest that apremilast was no more effective than placebo in improving ASAS20 scores in patients with ankylosing spondylitis at week 16.

–A viewpoint article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is pushing for cooperation between the FDA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) when determining the approval of, coverage of, and payment for medical devices and prescription drugs.

–Updated classification criteria are now available for primary Sjögren’s Syndrome, approved and endorsed by ACR and EULAR committees. The new classification criteria—applicable to patients with at least 1 symptom of ocular or oral dryness—are based on 5 objective items assigned weighted scores.

–Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and functional ability scores of patients with gout were found to be affected by the race of the patient, according to a study recently published in Rheumatology.

–Today marked the first day of the 2016 American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Healthcare Professionals Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Head to Rheumatology Advisor’s conference kickoff article for more on what to expect.

Follow Rheumatology Advisor’s continuing conference coverage by clicking here

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