From the Journals

Adalimumab safety update finds no new signals



Researchers have compiled a new long-term integrated analysis of safety data for adalimumab (Humira) that includes 5 clinical trials not included in the previous 2009 analysis; their evaluation of data from these 18 trials found no new safety signals, they reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Adverse event incidence rates were expressed as events per 100 patient-years of exposure to adalimumab and, among the 3,727 patients who were aged 18 years or older and had moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for at least 6 months, there were 5,430 patient-years of cumulative exposure at the December 2015 cutoff date.

There were 3,798 treatment-related events altogether (70 events/100 patient-years); 269 events (5 events/100 patient-years ) led to discontinuation of treatment. The rates for serious adverse events and serious infections were 8.4 and 1.8 events per 100 patient-years, respectively; the most common types of serious infections were pneumonia and cellulitis.

The rates of the most frequently reported adverse events were comparable with those in the 2009 data set, with the most common being nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. Furthermore, the rates of serious adverse events, serious infections, and malignancies were also stable, even with the increasing adalimumab exposure, and these were mostly consistent with what has been seen in large real-world registries.

The researchers did note that the rates of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer were higher than would be expected in the general population, but they suspected this was at least partly because these psoriasis patients were receiving more frequent skin examinations and more skin cancers were being detected. (Incidence rates for these two cancers were stable during 2009-2015).

The analysis had certain limitations, such as a lack of a long-term comparator group. Also, while some patients continue to receive adalimumab for more than 10 years, the maximum duration of treatment in this analysis was only 5.5 years. Finally, the population in these clinical trials may differ from that seen in general practice settings because of the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Six authors of the study reported multiple disclosures with pharmaceutical companies, including serving as a consultant, speaker, and/or adviser for, receiving honoraria from, and/or receiving grant/research support from AbbVie, which developed adalimumab and funded/advised this study; two authors are AbbVie employees, one is a former employee.

SOURCE: Leonardi C et al. Br J Dermatol. 2018 Aug 31. doi: 10.1111/bjd.17084.

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