Adalimumab for the treatment of moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa: A parallel randomized trial

Alexa B. Kimball, Francisco Kerdel, David Adams, Ulrich Mrowietz, Joel M. Gelfand, Robert Gniadecki, Errol P. Prens, Joel Schlessinger, Christos C. Zouboulis, Hessel H. van der Zee, Marie Rosenfeld, Parvez Mulani, Yihua Gu, Susan Paulson, Martin Okun, Gregor B.E. Jemec

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Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, painful skin disease characterized by abscesses, nodules, and draining fistulas in the axilla and groin of young adults. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adalimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor-αantibody, in patients with moderate to severe HS. Design: Phase 2, parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled trial consisting of a blinded 16-week period (period 1) and an open-label 36-week period (period 2). All study personnel, investigators, and patients remained blinded to treatment group throughout the study. ( NCT00918255) Setting: 26 academic and private practice medical centers in the United States and Europe. Patients: 154 adult patients with moderate to severe HS who were unresponsive or intolerant to oral antibiotics. Intervention: Patients were assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to adalimumab, 40 mg/wk; adalimumab, 40 mg every other week (EOW); or placebo. All patients received adalimumab, 40 mg EOW, at the beginning of period 2 but switched to weekly dosing if the response was suboptimal (HS Physician's Global Assessment [PGA] score of moderate or worse) at weeks 28 or 31. Measurements: The primary outcome measure (clinical response) was the proportion of patients achieving an HS-PGA score of clear, minimal, or mild with at least a 2-grade improvement relative to baseline at week 16. Results: At week 16, 3.9% of placebo patients (2 of 51), 9.6% of EOW patients (5 of 52), and 17.6% of weekly patients (9 of 51) achieved clinical response (EOW vs. placebo strata-adjusted difference, 5.6% [95% CI,- 4.0% to 15.3%]; P = 0.25; weekly vs. placebo strata-adjusted difference, 13.7% [CI, 1.7% to 25.7%]; P = 0.025). Serious adverse event rates were 3.9%, 5.8%, and 7.8% for placebo, EOW, and weekly patients, respectively (EOW vs. placebo difference, 1.8% [CI,- 6.4% to 10.1%]; weekly vs. placebo difference, 3.9% [CI,- 5.2% to 13.0%]). Significantly greater improvements in patient-reported outcomes and pain were seen in the weekly dosing group than in the placebo group. A decrease in response was seen after the switch from weekly to EOW dosing in period 2. Limitations: Weeks 16 to 52 of the study were open-label. The study was not powered to assess the risk for known serious adverse effects of adalimumab, such as tuberculosis, other serious infections, and demyelinating disorders. Conclusion: Adalimumab dosed once per week alleviates moderate to severe HS. Primary Funding Source: Abbott Laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-855
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 18 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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