Efficacy and safety of deucravacitinib, an oral, selective, allosteric TYK2 inhibitor, in patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus: Results from a phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

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Victoria P. Werth
Marilyn Pike
Joan T. Merrill
Eric Morand
Ronald van Vollenhoven
Coburn Hobar
Nikolay Delev
Vaishali Shah
Brian Sharkey
Thomas Wegman
Ian Catlett
Subhashis Banerjee
Shalabh Singhal


clinical trials, TYK2 inhibitor, systemic lupus erythematosus


Introduction: Tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) mediates signaling of Type I interferons and IL-23, key cytokines involved in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. Deucravacitinib, an oral, selective, allosteric TYK2 inhibitor, is approved in multiple countries for the treatment of adults with plaque psoriasis. This analysis assessed the efficacy and safety of deucravacitinib in patients with active SLE.

Methods: This 48-week, double-blind, phase 2 trial (NCT03252587) randomized patients 1:1:1:1 to deucravacitinib (3 mg BID, 6 mg BID, 12 mg QD) or placebo. Oral corticosteroid tapering was required from weeks 8-20; further tapering was optional from weeks 32-40. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving SLE Responder Index-4 (SRI[4]) at week 32. Key secondary endpoints at week 48 included percentage of patients achieving SRI(4) and decrease of ≥50% from baseline Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index (CLASI-50), in patients with baseline CLASI ≥10. Change from baseline in CLASI Activity Score (CLASI-A) over time was also assessed.

Results: Of 363 randomized patients, 275 (76%) completed 48 weeks of treatment. Baseline demographic and disease characteristics were balanced across treatment groups, with baseline mean CLASI-A scores ranging from 8.0 to 8.6. The primary endpoint at week 32 was met, with significantly greater proportions of patients in deucravacitinib 3 mg BID and 6 mg BID groups vs placebo achieving SRI(4) responses (placebo: 34.4%; deucravacitinib 3 mg BID: 58.2%, P=0.0006; 6 mg BID: 49.5%, P=0.021; 12 mg QD: 44.9%, P=0.078). Patients treated with deucravacitinib demonstrated improvement across all secondary endpoints compared with placebo. In patients with CLASI ≥10 at baseline, greater mean changes from baseline in CLASI-A were observed in deucravacitinib vs placebo over 48 weeks of treatment (placebo: 16.7%; deucravacitinib 3 mg BID: 69.6%, P=0.0006; 6 mg BID: 56.0%, P=0.0058; 12 mg QD: 62.1%, P=0.0009). Rates of adverse events (AEs), serious AEs, and AEs of interest were similar between deucravacitinib and placebo groups. Most common AEs with deucravacitinib were upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, headache, and urinary tract infection. No deaths, major adverse cardiac events, thrombotic events, systemic opportunistic infections, or active tuberculosis occurred.

Conclusion: Deucravacitinib demonstrated sustained, meaningful clinical efficacy in SRI(4), improvement in mucocutaneous activity as measured by CLASI-A responses, and was well tolerated in patients with active SLE up to 48 weeks.


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