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Ann Rheum Dis. 2012 Jun;71(6):817-24. doi: 10.1136/ard.2011.200317. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Golimumab in combination with methotrexate in Japanese patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: results of the GO-FORTH study.

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The First Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu City, Japan.



To assess the efficacy and safety of golimumab + methotrexate (MTX) in Japanese patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


269 Japanese patients with active RA despite treatment with MTX were randomised (1:1:1) to placebo + MTX (Group 1), golimumab 50 mg + MTX (Group 2) or golimumab 100 mg + MTX (Group 3). Subcutaneous golimumab/placebo was injected every 4 weeks; stable doses of oral MTX (6-8 mg/week) were continued. Patients were allowed to enter early escape (Group 1 added golimumab 50 mg, Group 2 increased golimumab to 100 mg, Group 3 continued golimumab 100 mg) based on swollen/tender joint counts at week 14. The primary study endpoint was achievement of at least 20% improvement in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) response criteria at week 14. To control for multiplicity of testing, treatment group comparisons were first made between combined Groups 2 and 3 versus Group 1, followed by comparisons of Group 2 and Group 3 versus Group 1.


The proportion of patients with an ACR20 response at week 14 was significantly higher in combined Groups 2 and 3 (73.4%, 127/173) and in each of Group 2 (72.1%, 62/86) and Group 3 (74.7%, 65/87) compared with Group 1 (27.3%, 24/88; p<0.0001 for all comparisons). Golimumab + MTX also elicited a significantly better response than placebo + MTX in other efficacy parameters, including disease activity score (DAS28) response/remission and radiographic assessments. During the 16-week fixed treatment regimen study period, 72.7%, 75.6% and 78.2% of patients had adverse events and 1.1%, 1.2% and 2.3% had serious adverse events in Groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively.


In Japanese patients with active RA despite MTX therapy, golimumab + MTX was significantly more effective than MTX monotherapy in reducing RA signs/symptoms and limiting radiographic progression with no unexpected safety concerns.


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