Publication Date



ACR Open Rheumatology


OBJECTIVE: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS), has been variable. Here, we assess disease activity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) through the pandemic in patients with AS.

METHODS: In the open-label extension (OLE) of the phase 2b BE AGILE study, patients with AS received 160 mg of subcutaneous bimekizumab every 4 weeks. We assessed Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score with C-reactive protein (ASDAS-CRP), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) and Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life (ASQoL) scores in the OLE immediately before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (September 2019 to April 2021).

RESULTS: A total of 232 patients remained in the BE AGILE OLE and were included in this post hoc study at the start of the analysis period (September 1, 2019); 12 patients had a COVID-19 treatment-emergent adverse event, and no cases resulted in death. The number of missed bimekizumab doses due to COVID-19 (11 doses) was minimal, and missed assessments remained low (≤5%) compared with the prepandemic period. Mean ASDAS-CRP (1.8), BASDAI (2.4), and ASQoL scores (2.8) in the OLE were low at pre-pandemic baseline and remained stable at 1.7 to 1.8, 2.2 to 2.4, and 2.0 to 2.8, respectively, across successive 3-month periods immediately before and during the pandemic. ASDAS-CRP, BASDAI, and ASQoL stability was consistent across major study countries.

CONCLUSION: Disease activity and HRQoL remained stable during the COVID-19 pandemic in patients with AS receiving bimekizumab in the BE AGILE OLE, with no indication of negative effects on these outcomes.



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