UMMS Affiliation

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Musculoskeletal Diseases | Rheumatology


OBJECTIVES: To investigate efficacy and safety of the Janus kinase-1 inhibitor filgotinib in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with limited or no prior methotrexate (MTX) exposure.

METHODS: This 52-week, phase 3, multicentre, double-blind clinical trial (NCT02886728) evaluated once-daily oral filgotinib in 1252 patients with RA randomised 2:1:1:2 to filgotinib 200 mg with MTX (FIL200 +MTX), filgotinib 100 mg with MTX (FIL100 +MTX), filgotinib 200 mg monotherapy (FIL200), or MTX. The primary endpoint was proportion achieving 20% improvement in American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) at week 24.

RESULTS: The primary endpoint was achieved by 81% of patients receiving FIL200+ MTX versus 71% receiving MTX (p < 0.001). A significantly greater proportion treated with FIL100+ MTX compared with MTX achieved an ACR20 response (80%, p=0.017) at week 24. Significant improvement in Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index was seen at week 24; least-squares mean change from baseline was -1.0 and -0.94 with FIL200+MTX and FIL100+MTX, respectively, versus -0.81 with MTX (p < 0.001, p=0.008, respectively). Significantly higher proportions receiving FIL200+MTX (54%) and FIL100+MTX (43%) achieved DAS28(CRP) < 2.6 versus MTX (29%) (p < 0.001 for both) at week 24. Hierarchical testing stopped for comparison of ACR20 for FIL200 monotherapy (78%) versus MTX (71%) at week 24 (p=0.058). Adverse event rates through week 52 were comparable between all treatments.

CONCLUSIONS: FIL200+MTX and FIL100+MTX both significantly improved signs and symptoms and physical function in patients with active RA and limited or no prior MTX exposure; FIL200 monotherapy did not have a superior ACR20 response rate versus MTX. Filgotinib was well tolerated, with acceptable safety compared with MTX.


antirheumatic agents, arthritis, rheumatoid, therapeutics

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: nc/4.0/.

DOI of Published Version



Westhovens R, Rigby WFC, van der Heijde D, Ching DWT, Stohl W, Kay J, Chopra A, Bartok B, Matzkies F, Yin Z, Guo Y, Tasset C, Sundy JS, Jahreis A, Mozaffarian N, Messina OD, Landewé RB, Atsumi T, Burmester GR. Filgotinib in combination with methotrexate or as monotherapy versus methotrexate monotherapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and limited or no prior exposure to methotrexate: the phase 3, randomised controlled FINCH 3 trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2021 Jan 15:annrheumdis-2020-219213. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219213. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33452004. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of the rheumatic diseases


Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License