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Design of clinical trials in rheumatology 

Design of clinical trials in rheumatology
Design of clinical trials in rheumatology
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Vibeke Strand

, Jeremy Sokolove

, and Alvina D. Chu

Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

Development of new therapies for rheumatic diseases requires a series of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) progressing from phase 1, ’first-in-human’ to generate initial safety, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) data; to phase 2, proof of concept for efficacy with safety and PK/PD data; and phase 3, designed to demonstrate definitive efficacy and safety to support regulatory approval. Important aspects of RCT designs include sample size estimations, treatment allocation, rescue, blinding, and statistical analyses of prespecified endpoints to preserve trial integrity. Over the past 15 years, significant progress has been made in the design of RCTs in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Similarly, development and validation of composite outcome measures in psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and osteoarthritis have furthered trial design and treatment approvals. RCTs in systemic lupus erythematosus and other multisystem, heterogeneous diseases pose more challenges. Trial design will continue to evolve as promising therapies are introduced into the clinic.

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