A trial of tocilizumab in patients with JIA and associated uveitis who do not respond to anti-TNF treatments

Disease - Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Lead applicant - Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan

Organisation - University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Type of grant - Clinical Studies

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £331,341.25

Start date - 1 February 2015

Reference - 20659

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

In Juvenile Inflammatory Arthritis (JIA), inflammation may affect the eyes and internal organs as well as the joints. Around 30-40% of children with JIA are at risk of inflammation of part of the eye, the uvea, leading to a condition known as JIA-associated uveitis. A third of children who develop uveitis will have vision loss, cataracts, increased pressure in the eye and blindness. The aim of this research is to see whether patients with JIA-associated uveitis get better when treated with a drug called tocilizumab together with a standard treatment, methotrexate.

Why is this research important?

This will be the largest study investigating the safety and effectiveness of tocilizumab combined with methotrexate in treating JIA-associated uveitis. It is important to find effective treatments that will control inflammation without leading to side effects in these young patients.

This research will test tocilizumab in combination with methotrexate in children with severe JIA-associated uveitis who have not responded to other treatments. Information on the safety and effectiveness of the treatment will be recorded.

How will the findings benefit patients?

This research could lead to a significant improvement in the treatment of JIA- associated uveitis. If this trial shows that tocilizumab is effective in treating children with severe uveitis, this would result in better control of inflammation in children with severe eye complications of JIA and would hopefully decrease the proportion of children who develop blindness.