Effect of Upadacitinib on Disease Activity, Pain, Fatigue, Function, Health-Related Quality of Life and Work Productivity for Biologic Refractory Ankylosing Spondylitis

Victoria Navarro-Compán, Xenofon Baraliakos, Marina Magrey, Andrew Östör, Christopher D. Saffore, Manish Mittal, In Ho Song, Fabiana Ganz, Jayne Stigler, Atul Deodhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have significant unmet treatment needs, despite advancements in biologic therapies. This study evaluated the impact of upadacitinib on clinically meaningful improvement in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) assessing disease activity, pain, fatigue, function, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and work productivity in patients with AS with inadequate responses or intolerance to biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARD-IR). Methods: Patients enrolled in the phase 3 SELECT-AXIS 2 AS bDMARD-IR study received blinded once-daily oral upadacitinib 15 mg or placebo for 14 weeks. The percentage of patients achieving improvements ≥ minimum clinically important differences (MCID) at week 14 were compared between treatment groups for disease activity (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index, BASDAI), patient global assessment of disease activity (PtGA), total and nocturnal back pain, fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, FACIT-F), physical function (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index, BASFI), HRQoL (Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society Health Index [ASAS HI], Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life [ASQoL], Short form-36 [SF-36] physical [PCS] and mental [MCS] component summary scores), and work productivity (Work Productivity and Activity Impairment [WPAI] Questionnaire). Mean changes from baseline through week 14 in fatigue and HRQoL were compared between treatment groups. Results: A total of 420 patients with active AS who were bDMARD-IR were included. A higher proportion of patients reported MCIDs at week 14 across all PROs with upadacitinib compared with placebo (nominal p ≤ 0.05). Greater improvements in mean change from baseline through week 14 were reported with upadacitinib compared with placebo across FACIT-F, HRQoL, and WPAI, with improvements differentiated as early as week 1 for ASAS HI, ASQoL and SF-36 PCS and week 4 for SF-36 MCS. Conclusions: Upadacitinib 15 mg demonstrated rapid and clinically meaningful improvements in disease activity, pain, FACIT-F, function, HRQoL, and WPAI among bDMARD-IR patients with active AS. Trial Registry: Clinical Registration number: NCT04169373, SELECT-AXIS 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRheumatology and Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Axial spondyloarthritis
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Upadacitinib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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