Clinical trial - abatacept / mix


I'm new to the forum and recently diagnosed with RA with high CCP antibodies. As yet I haven't been given any medication (other than Naproxen) but have been offered to join a double blind clinical trial that is testing whether abatacept given at early diagnosis before any other DMARDS can achieve remission. Has anyone else tried this? The trial is known as AVERT2 but there's already been one AVERT trial previously, I believe. Abatacept is currently only licensed to be given further down the line with RA (at least with the NHS). I look forward to any comments.

6 Replies

  • Abatacept has been my best friend but I am a lot more years down the line (30) than you and been through a lot of other meds both DMARD and biological. I assume they mean medical remission in that you continue taking the meds but the condition is controlled therefore the joint damage is very limited as in the past very few people can actually stop taking meds altogether. Farm

  • Hi

    I have read about this trial because I am currently on abatacept. Think the idea is that by giving this as a first treatment you may avoid all the trial of trying to find something that works and possible joint damage while you are waiting. I think the hope is that you may be able to wean off the abatacept as well once you are in remission.

    Abatacept has worked really well for me thank goodness, but was about 12 months of trying other stuff that didn't work first. I've been on abatacept for 18 months now.

    Good luck with it

  • If it's a double blind study the key question to me would be how long do you stay on treatment x before assessed for effectiveness. If you end up in the "not abatacept" group and there is no change to your condition you wouldn't want to be doing that for more than 12 weeks or so without being swapped onto conventional DMARDS. And then of course the second question is if you end up in the "abatacept" group and it works brilliantly for you will the funding be available for you to continue on it into the distant future.

    Generally tho' I think trials are good as you get extra monitoring & supervision.

  • Helix helix - I've had it confirmed that I will either get methotrexate alone, abatacept alone or mtx with abatacept (obviously using placebos too so I don't know what I'm getting) for 12 months. If I don't respond well enough after 12 months I get mtx and abatacept for 12 months to aim for remission. However, if I am deteriorating or not improving at a level they are happy with during tge trial they may intervene and apply usual NHS protocols. I don't know if I can continue on abatacept beyond the trial but I must ask about that!

  • Well that sounds pretty good. Obviously a personal choice, but I know what I'd do & that's sign on dotted line.....

  • I Agre with what has already been said. You maybe in the control group no Abatacept then what will be the affect from delayed treatment. I'm all for research and I am currently in a year for MXT following starting on diagnosis in January this year.

    But we wouldn't have these medications without research either so I may have opted for this too. I assume it will be a short trial to prevent any further deterioration.

    Hope it goes well for you

    Good luck

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