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Multibiomarker Disease Activity Testing for RA

J Rheumatol; 2019 Mar; Curtis, Xie, Yang, et al

The multibiomarker disease activity (MBDA) score in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was associated with both biologic and Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor medication addition/switching and subsequent treatment outcomes. Using 2011–2015 Medicare data, researchers linked each patient with RA to their MBDA test result. Initiation of a biologic or JAK inhibitor in the 6 months following MBDA testing was described. For patients with high MBDA scores who added a new RA therapy and were subsequently retested, lack of improvement in the MBDA score was evaluated as a predictor of future RA medication failure, defined by the necessity to change RA medications again. They found:

  • Among 60,596 RA patients with MBDA testing, the proportion adding or switching biologics/JAK inhibitor among those not already taking a biologic/JAK inhibitor was 9.0% (low MBDA), 11.8% (moderate MBDA), and 19.7% (high MBDA).
  • Similarly, among those already taking biologics/JAK inhibitor, the proportions were 5.2%, 8.3%, and 13.5%.
  • After multivariable adjustment, referent to those with low disease MBDA scores, the likelihood of switching was 1.51-fold greater for patients with moderate MBDA scores, and 2.62 for patients with high MBDA scores.


Curtis JR, Xie F, Yang S, Danila MI, Owensby JK, Chen L. Uptake and clinical utility of multibiomarker disease activity testing in the United States. J Rheumatol. 2019;46 (3):237-244. doi:10.3899/jrheum.180071.