ACTH Gel Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Study Purpose

The purpose of this research study is to evaluate if the study drug, ACTH Gel helps decrease the disease symptoms in people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) who are already taking medications prescribed by their physician and are still experiencing disease symptoms. ACTH gel has been a Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis since 1952, and in 2010 the FDA retained RA as a disease approved for ACTH gel use. Despite its FDA approval there is very limited data on its how well ACTH gel works in improving the symptoms of people with RA.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - 18 year of age and older.
  • - RA diagnosis by American College of Rheumatology criteria.
  • - Active disease (CDAI > 10) - Have received at least are biologic agent for at least 6 months.
  • - May or may not be receiving oral daily steroids (less than or equal to 20 mg/day) of prednisone equivalent.
  • - No current active infections requiring antibiotics.
  • - Patients must be on stable doses of RA therapies (e.g., methotrexate or other RA therapies for at least 4 weeks prior to baseline visit)

    Exclusion Criteria:

    - Less than 18 years of age.
  • - Unable or unwilling to give Informed Consent.
  • - Have an active infection requiring the use of antibiotics.
  • - Women who are pregnant.
  • - Uncontrolled hypertension.
  • - Abnormal renal function.
  • - Abnormal liver function as defined by and increased Alanine transaminase (ALT,) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) that is greater than 5 times normal.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Dana Ascherman
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Larry W Moreland, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation University of Pittsburgh
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Other, Industry
Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Additional Details

This study is for people who are currently taking a biologic therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis and who are still experiencing symptoms. Subjects are given the ACTH gel to take twice each week for 12 weeks as a supplement to current therapies. Subjects are required to visit the clinic for a baseline visit, at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks. We will obtain a blood sample for research purposes.

Arms & Interventions


Other: ACTHAR Gel

Open label Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) Gel for 12 weeks, 80u (1mL), given subcutaneously twice each week.


Drug: - ACTHAR gel

Subjects are given the ACTHAR gel subcutaneously twice per week for 12 weeks.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania




University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15261

Site Contact

Laurie Hope, RN

[email protected]