Pfizer has announced positive results from two studies of tofacitinib, an oral JAK inhibitor used to treat chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis.

The first, the Phase III ORAL Sync (A3921046) study, enrolled 792 patients with moderate-to-severe active rheumatoid arthritis and showed that tofacitinib reduced the condition’s signs and symptoms.

Patients treated with tofacitinib also reported dose-dependent decreases in mean neutrophil counts and increases in mean low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol.

The second, Phase II study A3921109, involved in 111 and evaluated the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib along with atorvastatin in reducing low-density lipoprotein- cholesterol in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Patients given the drug reported 35% reduction in mean low-density lipoprotein- cholesterol, compared to a 5.8 % increase among patients given the placebo.

The serious adverse affects reported during the study include pneumonia, right hip arthritis aggravation and bacterial pneumonia, but none of these affects were seen in patients receiving atorvastatin.