Pfizer’s (PFE) Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate) is a Janus kinase inhibitor (or JAK) drug used for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. The drug has proved to reduce pain, swelling, and joint damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Xeljanz’s extended release version is called Xeljanz XR, which is a once-daily medicine.
On June 16, 2017, Pfizer announced detailed results from its ORAL (Oral Rheumatoid Arthritis TriaL) Strategy, a double-blind, head-to-head, non-inferiority, randomized Phase 3b/4 study evaluating Xeljanz 5 mg (milligram) twice daily, both as a monotherapy and in combination with methotrexate, compared to the use of the combination of AbbVie’s (ABBV) Humira (adalimumab) and methotrexate for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis over a period of one year.
Details about the study
According to the company’s press release, the results included both efficacy and safety results. Let’s take a look at the results.
The ORAL Strategy included 1,146 patients, of which 384 were treated with only Xeljanz, 376 were treated with a combination of Xeljanz and methotrexate, and 386 were treated with Humira and methotrexate.
At the end of six months, a 50.0% reduction in the disease, according to the definition of the American College of Rheumatology, also termed ACR50, was observed as follows:
- Xeljanz monotherapy: ACR50 was attained in 147 patients, or ~38.3% of the total patients in this group; 23 patients, or ~6.0% of the total patients in this group, discontinued the treatment due to adverse effects. Two patients who received Xeljanz monotherapy died during the study.
- Xeljanz and methotrexate combination: ACR50 was attained in 173 patients, or ~46.0% of the total patients in this group; 26 patients, or ~7.0% of the total patients in this group, discontinued the treatment due to adverse effects.
- Humira and methotrexate combination: ACR50 was attained in 169 patients, or ~43.8% of the total patients in this group; 36 patients, or ~9.0% of the total patients in this group, discontinued the treatment due to adverse effects.
The combination of Xeljanz and methotrexate was non-inferior compared to the combination of Humira and methotrexate for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who are not responsive to methotrexate.
However, the Xeljanz monotherapy was not shown to be non-inferior to either of the combinations.
To invest in Pfizer and divest the risk, you can consider the Healthcare Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV), which holds 7.1% of its total assets in Pfizer. XLV also holds 4.3% in Amgen (AMGN), 3.7% in AbbVie (ABBV), and 3.2% in Allergan (AGN).
Tanezumab is an investigational drug co-developed by Pfizer (PFE) and Eli Lilly (LLY) for pain management in chronic pain related to cancer, lower back pain, and osteoarthritis.
In the last month the CSI 300 is down 11.5%, much more than US indices.
JCPenney (JCP) is slated to announce its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, which ended on May 4, on May 21.
The key point of contention in the US-China trade dispute is the large trade deficit the United States runs against China.
On May 16, the Labor Department reported jobless claims for last week. Initial jobless claims fell by 16,000 to 212,000 for the week ended May 11.
Jeffrey Gundlach recommended investors take advantage of the volatility in interest rates at the recent Sohn Conference.
Tesla (TSLA) has fallen 4.2% as of 11:55 AM EDT on May 17. While US equity markets opened in the red today, they've recouped their losses.