Clinical utility of therapy selection informed by predicted nonresponse to tumor necrosis factor-ɑ inhibitors: an analysis from the Study to Accelerate Information of Molecular Signatures (AIMS) in rheumatoid arthritis

Developing New Drug Treatments

Vibeke Strand, Stanley B. Cohen, Jeffrey R. Curtis, Lixia Zhang, Alan J. Kivitz, Robert W. Levin, Angela Mathis, Erin Connolly-Strong, and Johanna B. Withers

Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics 2021, VOL. 22, NO. 1, 101-109


Objectives: The molecular signature response classifier (MSRC) is a blood-based precision medicine test that predicts nonresponders to tumor necrosis factor-ɑ inhibitors (TNFi) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) so that patients with a molecular signature of non-response to TNFi can be directed to a treatment with an alternative mechanism of action.

Materials and Methods: This study evaluated decision choice and treatment outcomes resulting from MSRC-informed treatment selection within a real-world cohort.

Results: Therapy selection by providers was informed by MSRC results for 73.5% (277/377) of patients. When MSRC results were not incorporated into decision-making, 62.0% (62/100) of providers reported deviating from test recommendations due to insurance-related restrictions. The 24-week ACR50 responses in patients prescribed a therapy in alignment with MSRC results were 39.6%. Patients with a molecular signature of non-response had significantly improved responses to non-TNFi therapies compared with TNFi therapies (ACR50 34.8% vs 10.3%, p-value = 0.05). This indicates that predicted non-responders to TNFi therapies are not nonresponders to other classes of RA targeted therapy. Significant changes were also observed for CDAI, ACR20, ACR70, and for responses at 12 weeks.

Conclusions: Adoption of the MSRC into patient care could fundamentally shift treatment paradigms in RA, resulting in substantial improvements in real-world treatment outcomes.

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