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INTRODUCTION: Adalimumab is an effective treatment for autoimmune non-infectious uveitis (ANIU), but it is currently only funded for a minority of patients with ANIU in the UK as it is restricted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. Ophthalmologists believe that adalimumab may be effective in a wider range of patients. The Adalimumab vs placebo as add-on to Standard Therapy for autoimmune Uveitis: Tolerability, Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (ASTUTE) trial will recruit patients with ANIU who do and do not meet funding criteria and will evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adalimumab versus placebo as an add-on therapy to standard care. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The ASTUTE trial is a multicentre, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, pragmatic randomised controlled trial with a 16-week treatment run-in (TRI). At the end of the TRI, only responders will be randomised (1:1) to 40 mg adalimumab or placebo (both are the study investigational medicinal product) self-administered fortnightly by subcutaneous injection. The target sample size is 174 randomised participants. The primary outcome is time to treatment failure (TF), a composite of signs indicative of active ANIU. Secondary outcomes include individual TF components, retinal morphology, adverse events, health-related quality of life, patient-reported side effects and visual function, best-corrected visual acuity, employment status and resource use. In the event of TF, open-label drug treatment will be restarted as per TRI for 16 weeks, and if a participant responds again, allocation will be switched without unmasking and treatment with investigational medicinal product restarted. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The trial received Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval from South Central - Oxford B REC in June 2020. The findings will be presented at international meetings, by peer-reviewed publications and through patient organisations and newsletters to patients, where available. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN31474800. Registered 14 April 2020.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





Clinical Trial, Medical ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, Humans, Adalimumab, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Quality of Life, Uveitis, Standard of Care, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Multicenter Studies as Topic