Outcome selection for tissue-agnostic drug trials for immune mediated inflammatory diseases: a systematic review of core outcome sets and regulatory guidance

Olalekan Lee Aiyegbusi, Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano, Ameeta Retzer, Philip Newsome, Christopher Buckley, Melanie Calvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tissue-agnostic drug development provides a paradigm shift in precision medicine and requires innovative trial designs. However, outcome selection for such trials can prove challenging. The objectives of this review were to:

Identify and map core outcome sets (COS), across 11 immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) in order to facilitate the selection of relevant outcomes across the conditions for innovative trials of tissue-agnostic drug therapies.

Compare outcomes or endpoints recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) to identify and highlight similarities and differences.

The Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET), International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), FDA and EMA databases were searched from inception to 28th December 2019. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts of retrieved entries and conducted the subsequent full text screening. Hand searching of the reference lists and citation searching of the selected publications was conducted. The methodological quality of the included peer-reviewed articles was independently assessed by the reviewers based on the items of the COS–Standards for Development recommendations (COS–STAD) checklist. Core outcomes from the included publications were extracted and mapped across studies and conditions. Regulatory guidance from FDA and EMA, where available for clinical trials for the IMIDs, were obtained from their databases and recommendations on outcomes to measure directly compared.

Forty-four COS publications were included in the final analysis. Outcomes such as disease activity, pain, fatigue, quality of life, physical function, work limitation/productivity, steroid use and biomarkers were recommended across majority of the conditions. There were significant similarities and differences in FDA and EMA recommendations. The only instance where either regulatory body directly referenced a COS was for jSLE—both referenced the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization (PRINTO) COS.

The findings from this systematic review provide valuable information to inform outcome selection in tissue-agnostic trials for IMIDs. There is a need for increased collaboration between regulators and COS developers and inclusion of regulators as key stakeholders in COS development to enhance the quality of COS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022


  • tissue-agnostic clinical trials
  • core outcome set
  • COS
  • IMIDs
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • rheumatology


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