Efficacy and safety of guselkumab in biologic-naïve patients with active axial psoriatic arthritis: study protocol for STAR, a phase 4, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

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washington; swedish; Axial psoriatic arthritis; Guselkumab; IL-23p19; MRI; Psoriatic arthritis; Randomized controlled trial; Sacroiliac joint; Spine inflammation; Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized; Arthritis, Psoriatic; C-Reactive Protein; Clinical Trials, Phase IV as Topic; Double-Blind Method; Humans; Inflammation; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Spondylarthritis; Spondylitis, Ankylosing; Treatment Outcome


BACKGROUND: Axial involvement constitutes a specific domain of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Interleukin (IL)-23 inhibitors have demonstrated improvement in axial PsA (axPsA) symptoms, but have not shown efficacy in treating ankylosing spondylitis (AS), suggesting differences in axPsA processes and treatments. In a post hoc, pooled analysis of patients with investigator- and imaging-confirmed sacroiliitis in two phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled studies (DISCOVER-1 and DISCOVER-2), patients treated with guselkumab, an IL-23p19 inhibitor, had greater axial symptom improvements compared with placebo. Confirmatory imaging at baseline was restricted to the sacroiliac (SI) joints, occurred prior to/at screening, and was locally read.

METHODS: The STAR study will prospectively assess efficacy outcomes in PsA patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-confirmed axial inflammation. Eligible, biologic-naïve patients with PsA (N = 405) for ≥ 6 months and active disease (≥ 3 swollen and ≥ 3 tender joints, C-reactive protein [CRP] ≥ 0.3 mg/dL) despite prior non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, apremilast, and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will be randomized (1:1:1) to guselkumab every 4 weeks (Q4W); guselkumab at week (W) 0, W4, then every 8 weeks (Q8W); or placebo with crossover to guselkumab at W24, W28, then Q8W. Patients will have Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) score ≥ 4, spinal pain component score (0-10 visual analog scale) ≥ 4, and screening MRI-confirmed axial involvement (positive spine and/or SI joints according to centrally read Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada [SPARCC] score ≥ 3 in ≥ 1 region). The primary endpoint is mean change from baseline in BASDAI at W24; multiplicity controlled secondary endpoints at W24 include AS Disease Activity Score employing CRP (ASDAS), Disease Activity Index for PsA (DAPSA), Health Assessment Questionnaire - Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Investigator's Global Assessment of skin disease (IGA), and mean changes from baseline in MRI SI joint SPARCC scores. Centrally read MRIs of spine and SI joints (scored using SPARCC) will be obtained at W0, W24, and W52, with readers blinded to treatment group and timepoint. Treatment group comparisons will be performed using a Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel or chi-square test for binary endpoints and analysis of covariance, mixed model for repeated measures, or constrained longitudinal data analysis for continuous endpoints.

DISCUSSION: This study will evaluate the ability of guselkumab to reduce both axial symptoms and inflammation in patients with active PsA.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04929210 , on 18 June 2021.

PROTOCOL VERSION: Version 1.0 dated 14 April 2021.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine