The Food and Drug Administration has approved the subcutaneous formulation of Actemra (tocilizumab) for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) for patients aged 2 years and older, according to a press release from its developer, Genentech. The intravenous formulation was approved in 2011 for this indication.
The approval is based on data the JIGSAW-118 study. This 52-week, open-label, multicenter, phase 1b pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic bridging study was designed to determine the appropriate dosing regimen by treating 51 patients with SJIA according to body weight.
The safety profile of subcutaneous tocilizumab was similar to that seen with intravenous tocilizumab, although there were more injection-site reactions seen with the subcutaneous formulation. Its efficacy was extrapolated based on the drug’s pharmacokinetic profile seen with IV tocilizumab in SJIA patients and with subcutaneous tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
SJIA is a rare disease with limited treatment options, according to the press release. In general, JIA affects almost 300,000 children in the United States, and about 10% of those cases are SJIA.