Tofacitinib Treatment Is Associated With Modest and Reversible Increases in Serum Lipids in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis

Bruce E Sands, Pam R Taub, Alessandro Armuzzi, Gary S Friedman, Michele Moscariello, Nervin Lawendy, Ronald D Pedersen, Gary Chan, Chudy I Nduaka, Daniel Quirk, Leonardo Salese, Chinyu Su, Brian G Feagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Tofacitinib is an oral, small-molecule Janus kinase inhibitor for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). We analyzed inflammation, lipid concentrations, and incidence rates of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (MACEs) in patients who received tofacitinib in worldwide studies.

METHODS: We collected data from 1157 patients who participated in 3 8-week induction studies (1 phase-2 study and 2 phase-3 studies; patients received tofacitinib 10 mg twice daily or placebo), a 52-week phase-3 maintenance study of responders (patients received tofacitinib 5 or 10 mg twice daily or placebo), and an ongoing long-term extension study of patients who did and did not respond to induction or maintenance therapy (patients received tofacitinib 5 or 10 mg twice daily). Lipid concentrations were assessed from induction baseline to week 61 (week 52 of maintenance therapy). We calculated MACE incidence rates (patients with ≥1 event per 100 patient-years of exposure) and Reynolds risk score (RRS; a composite score used to determine CV risk) for patients given tofacitinib vs placebo.

RESULTS: The mean RRS was <5% at baseline and week 8 of treatment with tofacitinib. At week 8, there were greater increases from baseline in total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients given tofacitinib compared with placebo. There were correlations between reduced levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and increased serum concentrations of lipid in patients given tofacitinib or placebo (P < .001). Lipid concentrations were increased in patients given tofacitinib vs patients given placebo through week 61. Overall, ratios of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to HDL-c and total cholesterol to HDL-c did not change significantly over the 61-week period. Four MACEs were reported; the incidence rate was 0.24 (95% CI, 0.07-0.62) and 3 of these patients had 4 or more CV risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS: In an analysis of data from 5 trials of patients with UC who received tofacitinib, we found reversible increases in lipids with treatment and inverse correlations with reduced levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. We did not find clinically meaningful changes in lipid ratios or RRS. MACEs were infrequent and not dose-related. A3921063 (NCT00787202); OCTAVE Induction 1 (NCT01465763); OCTAVE Induction 2 (NCT01458951); OCTAVE Sustain (NCT01458574); OCTAVE Open (NCT01470612).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132.e3
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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