Janus kinase inhibitors for rheumatoid arthritis

Kunihiro Yamaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has advanced substantially over the past decade with the development of biologics targeting inflammatory cytokines. Recent progress in treating RA has been achieved with janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors (Jakinibs), an orally available disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug targeting the intracellular kinase JAK and with similar efficacy to biologics. The first Jakinib approved for RA was tofacitinib, which exerted superiority to methotrexate and non-inferiority to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. In recent years, the Jakinib baricitinib has demonstrated superiority to both methotrexate and a TNF inhibitor, adalimumab. Given these promising findings, Jakinibs are expected to represent the next generation compounds for treating RA, and a number of Jakinibs are currently in clinical trials. Jakinibs can differ substantially in their selectivity against JAKs; tofacitinib and baricitinib target multiple JAKs, whereas the most recently developed Jakinibs target only a single JAK. The influence of Jakinib selectivity on efficacy and side effects is of great interest, requiring further careful observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry


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