July 24, 2023
AbbVie Advances Immunology Pipeline with First Patient Dosed in Global Phase 3 Trial of Upadacitinib (RINVOQ®) in Hidradenitis Suppurativa

-  First registered, randomized Phase 3 trial in hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) evaluating the efficacy and safety of upadacitinib (RINVOQ®) in adults and adolescents with moderate to severe HS1

-  HS is a difficult-to-treat chronic, inflammatory disease with few therapeutic options available2,3

-  AbbVie applies proven expertise in immunology and HS in continued efforts to bring new treatment options to patients living with this underserved condition4 

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., July 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Phase 3 Step-Up HS study evaluating upadacitinib (RINVOQ®) in adults and adolescents with moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) who have failed anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy and/or one approved non-anti-TNF inhibitor therapy for HS.1

"Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, inflammatory disease that often leads to irreversible skin damage and extreme pain for patients," said Roopal Thakkar, M.D., senior vice president, development and regulatory affairs and chief medical officer, AbbVie. "Leveraging our proven expertise in immunology and experience in HS, we continue to drive innovation and pursue advancement of care in patient populations with difficult-to-treat immune-mediated diseases that have limited therapeutic options."

HS can appear on the skin as painful bumps, nodules or abscesses that leak fluid, lead to scarring and even connect under the skin as tunnels.5 Nodules generally develop in areas of the body where hair grows or skin rubs against skin, such as the underarms, groin or back of the neck.5

While HS is estimated to affect up to one percent of the global population, patients can experience increasing disease severity and symptoms for as long as seven to 10 years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.6,7 There is no cure for HS, and there are limited treatment options, making further study of this disease critical to better understand its impact and help meet patients' unmet needs.3,8

About Step-Up HS1
Step-Up HS is the first Phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of upadacitinib compared to placebo in adults and adolescents (12 to less than 18 years old) with moderate to severe HS who have failed anti-TNF therapy and/or one approved non-anti-TNF inhibitor therapy for HS. Aiming to enroll approximately 1,300 participants across 275 sites worldwide, the study consists of three periods. In Period 1 (0 to 16 weeks), the safety and efficacy of upadacitinib 30 mg will be evaluated versus placebo, which is the primary analysis of the study. In Period 2 (16 to 20 weeks), based on clinical response, patients will be re-randomized to upadacitinib 30 mg, upadacitinib 15 mg or placebo, followed by a long-term extension Period 3 (20 to 68 weeks).

The study's primary endpoint will measure the percentage of participants achieving HS clinical response (HiSCR) 50, defined as at least a 50 percent reduction in the total abscess and inflammatory nodule (AN) count with no increase in abscess count and no increase in draining fistula count relative to baseline at week 16.

The Phase 2 study was completed and study results were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting in March 2023 and are planned for publication in a scientific journal. Additional results from the Phase 2 study will be presented at a future medical congress.

Additional information about the study can be found at under the identifier NCT05889182.

About RINVOQ® (upadacitinib)
Discovered and developed by AbbVie scientists, RINVOQ is a selective JAK inhibitor that is being studied in several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.4 Based on enzymatic and cellular assays, RINVOQ demonstrated greater inhibitory potency for JAK-1 vs JAK-2, JAK-3, and TYK-2.9 The relevance of inhibition of specific JAK enzymes to therapeutic effectiveness and safety is not currently known.

Phase 3 trials of RINVOQ in rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, giant cell arteritis, Takayasu arteritis, and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis are ongoing.10-18 Use of upadacitinib in HS is not approved and its safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by regulatory authorities.

RINVOQ (upadacitinib) U.S. Uses and Important Safety Information9

RINVOQ is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when 1 or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers have been used, and did not work well or could not be tolerated.
  • Adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) when 1 or more medicines called TNF blockers have been used, and did not work well or could not be tolerated.
  • Adults with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) when 1 or more medicines called TNF blockers have been used, and did not work well or could not be tolerated.
  • Adults with active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) with objective signs of inflammation when a TNF blocker medicine has been used, and did not work well or could not be tolerated.
  • Adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis (UC) when 1 or more medicines called TNF blockers have been used, and did not work well or could not be tolerated.
  • Adults with moderate to severe Crohn's disease (CD) when 1 or more medicines called TNF blockers have been used, and did not work well or could not be tolerated.

It is not known if RINVOQ is safe and effective in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease.

  • Adults and children 12 years of age and older with moderate to severe eczema (atopic dermatitis [AD]) that did not respond to previous treatment and their eczema is not well controlled with other pills or injections, including biologic medicines, or the use of other pills or injections is not recommended.

RINVOQ is safe and effective in children 12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg) with atopic dermatitis.

It is not known if RINVOQ is safe and effective in children under 12 years of age with atopic dermatitis.

What is the most important information I should know about RINVOQ?
RINVOQ may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Serious infections. RINVOQ can lower your ability to fight infections. Serious infections have happened while taking RINVOQ, including tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your healthcare provider (HCP) should test you for TB before starting RINVOQ and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with RINVOQ. You should not start taking RINVOQ if you have any kind of infection unless your HCP tells you it is okay. If you get a serious infection, your HCP may stop your treatment until your infection is controlled. You may be at higher risk of developing shingles (herpes zoster).
  • Increased risk of death in people 50 years and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor.
  • Cancer and immune system problems. RINVOQ may increase your risk of certain cancers. Lymphoma and other cancers, including skin cancers, can happen. Current or past smokers are at higher risk of certain cancers, including lymphoma and lung cancer. Follow your HCP's advice about having your skin checked for skin cancer during treatment with RINVOQ. Limit the amount of time you spend in sunlight. Wear protective clothing when you are in the sun and use sunscreen.
  • Increased risk of major cardiovascular (CV) events, such as heart attack, stroke, or death, in people 50 years and older who have at least 1 heart disease (CV) risk factor, especially if you are a current or past smoker.
  • Blood clots: Blood clots in the veins of the legs or lungs and arteries can happen with RINVOQ. This may be life-threatening and cause death. Blood clots in the veins of the legs and lungs have happened more often in people who are 50 years and older and with at least 1 heart disease (CV) risk factor.
  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms such as rash (hives), trouble breathing, feeling faint or dizzy, or swelling of your lips, tongue, or throat, that may mean you are having an allergic reaction have been seen in people taking RINVOQ. Some of these reactions were serious. If any of these symptoms occur during treatment with RINVOQ, stop taking RINVOQ and get emergency medical help right away.
  • Tears in the stomach or intestines. This happens most often in people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. Get medical help right away if you get stomach-area pain, fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Changes in certain laboratory tests. Your HCP should do blood tests before you start taking RINVOQ and while you take it. Your HCP may stop your RINVOQ treatment for a period of time if needed because of changes in these blood test results.

Do not take RINVOQ if you are allergic to upadacitinib or any of the ingredients in RINVOQ. See the Medication Guide or Consumer Brief Summary for a complete list of ingredients.

What should I tell my HCP BEFORE starting RINVOQ?
Tell your HCP if you:

  • Are being treated for an infection, have an infection that won't go away or keeps coming back, or have symptoms of an infection such as:
    • Fever, sweating, or chills
    • Shortness of breath
    • Warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
    • Muscle aches
    • Feeling tired
    • Blood in phlegm
    • Diarrhea or stomach pain
    • Cough
    • Weight loss
    • Burning when urinating or urinating more often than normal
  • Have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
  • Are a current or past smoker.
  • Have had a heart attack, other heart problems, or stroke.
  • Have had any type of cancer, hepatitis B or C, shingles (herpes zoster), blood clots in the veins of your legs or lungs, diverticulitis (inflammation in parts of the large intestine), or ulcers in your stomach or intestines.
  • Have other medical conditions including liver problems, low red or white blood cell counts, diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system.
  • Live, have lived, or have traveled to parts of the country, such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Southwest, that increase your risk of getting certain kinds of fungal infections. If you are unsure if you've been to these types of areas, ask your HCP.
  • Have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. People who take RINVOQ should not receive live vaccines.
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Based on findings in animal studies, RINVOQ may harm your unborn baby. Your HCP will check whether or not you are pregnant before you start RINVOQ. You should use effective birth control (contraception) to avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with RINVOQ and for 4 weeks after your last dose.
  • There is a pregnancy surveillance program for RINVOQ. The purpose of the program is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. If you become pregnant while taking RINVOQ, you are encouraged to report the pregnancy by calling 1-800-633-9110.
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. RINVOQ may pass into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with RINVOQ and for 6 days after your last dose.

Tell your HCP about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. RINVOQ and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects.

Especially tell your HCP if you take:

  • Medicines for fungal or bacterial infections
  • Rifampicin or phenytoin
  • Medicines that affect your immune system

If you are not sure if you are taking any of these medicines, ask your HCP or pharmacist.

What should I avoid while taking RINVOQ?
Avoid food or drink containing grapefruit during treatment with RINVOQ as it may increase the risk of side effects.

What should I do or tell my HCP AFTER starting RINVOQ?

  • Tell your HCP right away if you have any symptoms of an infection. RINVOQ can make you more likely to get infections or make any infections you have worse.
  • Get emergency help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking RINVOQ, including:
    • Discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back
    • Severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
    • Pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
    • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
    • Breaking out in a cold sweat
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Feeling lightheaded
    • Weakness in one part or on one side of your body
    • Slurred speech
  • Tell your HCP right away if you have any signs or symptoms of blood clots during treatment with RINVOQ, including:
    • Swelling
    • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs
    • Sudden unexplained chest or upper back pain
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Tell your HCP right away if you have a fever or stomach-area pain that does not go away, and a change in your bowel habits.

What are other possible side effects of RINVOQ?
Common side effects include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), shingles (herpes zoster), herpes simplex virus infections (including cold sores), bronchitis, nausea, cough, fever, acne, headache, increased blood levels of creatine phosphokinase, allergic reactions, inflammation of hair follicles, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, increased weight, flu, tiredness, lower number of certain types of white blood cells (neutropenia, lymphopenia, leukopenia), muscle pain, flu-like illness, rash, increased blood cholesterol levels,  increased liver enzyme levels, pneumonia, low number of red blood cells (anemia), and infection of the stomach and intestine (gastroenteritis).

A separation or tear to the lining of the back part of the eye (retinal detachment) has happened in people with atopic dermatitis treated with RINVOQ. Call your HCP right away if you have any sudden changes in your vision during treatment with RINVOQ.

Some people taking RINVOQ may see medicine residue (a whole tablet or tablet pieces) in their stool. If this happens, call your healthcare provider.

These are not all the possible side effects of RINVOQ.

How should I take RINVOQ?
RINVOQ is taken once a day with or without food. Do not split, crush, or chew the tablet. Take RINVOQ exactly as your HCP tells you to use it. RINVOQ is available in 15 mg, 30 mg, and 45 mg extended-release tablets.

This is the most important information to know about RINVOQ. For more information, talk to your HCP. 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help. Visit to learn more. 

Please click here for the Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.

About AbbVie
AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across our Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release are, or may be considered, forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions and uses of future or conditional verbs, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of AbbVie's 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as updated by its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. AbbVie undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines, to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.


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  2. Lee E, Alhusayen R, et al. What is hidradenitis suppurativa?; Canadian Family Physician. 2017.
  3. Fragoso NM, Masson R, Gillenwater TJ, Shi VY, Hsiao JL. Emerging Treatments and the Clinical Trial Landscape for Hidradenitis Suppurativa Part I: Topical and Systemic Medical Therapies. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2023 Jul 4. doi: 10.1007/s13555-023-00956-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37402031.
  4. Pipeline – Our Science | AbbVie. 2023. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  5. AbbVie. No BS About HS. What is HS? 2022. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  6. Jfri A, Nassim D, O'Brien E, Gulliver W, Nikolakis G, Zouboulis CC. Prevalence of Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Systematic Review and Meta-regression Analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2021 Aug 1;157(8):924-931. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.1677. PMID: 34037678; PMCID: PMC8156162.
  7. Kimball A, et al. N Engl J Med. 375.5; 2016: 422-34. Available at:
  8. AbbVie. No BS About HS. HS Treatment Options. 2022. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  9. RINVOQ [Package Insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.; 2023.
  10. A Study Comparing Upadacitinib (ABT-494) to Placebo in Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis on a Stable Dose of Conventional Synthetic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (csDMARDs) Who Have an Inadequate Response to csDMARDs Alone (SELECT-NEXT). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  11. Evaluation of Upadacitinib in Adolescent and Adult Patients With Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) (Measure Up 1). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  12. A Study Comparing Upadacitinib (ABT-494) to Placebo and to Adalimumab in Participants With Psoriatic Arthritis Who Have an Inadequate Response to at Least One Non-Biologic Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug (SELECT - PsA 1). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  13. A Study to Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of Upadacitinib in Adult Participants With Axial Spondyloarthritis (SELECT AXIS 2). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  14. A Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Upadacitinib (ABT-494) in Participants With Moderately to Severely Active Crohn's Disease Who Have Inadequately Responded to or Are Intolerant to Biologic Therapy. 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  15. A Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Upadacitinib (ABT-494) for Induction and Maintenance Therapy in Participants With Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis (UC). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  16. A Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Upadacitinib in Participants With Giant Cell Arteritis (SELECT-GCA). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  17. A Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Upadacitinib in Subjects With Takayasu
    Arteritis (TAK) (SELECT-TAK). 2021. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  18. A Multicenter, Randomized Open-Label Study to Assess the Efficacy, Safety, and Pharmacokinetics of Upadacitinib With a Tocilizumab Reference Arm in Subjects From 1 Year to Less Than 18 Years Old With Active Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Available at: Accessed on July 13, 2023.


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