UCB today announced new data showing that Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), the only PEGylated, Fc-Free anti Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), combined with methotrexate (MTX), significantly inhibits progression of joint damage in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as early as 16 weeks after the start of treatment.
Presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting in Paris, these data are the first to show such rapid inhibition of progression of structural damage in patients receiving an anti-TNF.
These findings are from a post-hoc analysis of the RAPID 1 and 2 trials, two large, international, multicentre, placebo-controlled RA studies, of 52 and 24 weeks’ duration, respectively.
Previously-presented results from these studies have shown that Cimzia, in combination with MTX, significantly inhibited progression of structural damage at week 24 and 52 when compared to MTX alone.
Additionally, Cimzia also demonstrated a rapid and significant reduction in the signs and symptoms of active RA as early as the first dose as measured at Week 1.
These results support previous observations that radiographic response is not always associated with clinical response criteria. In addition, the demonstrated early inhibition of radiographic progression supports performing shorter term imaging studies in RA.
“Prevention of long-term structural damage is a key concern for rheumatologists when treating patients with active rheumatoid arthritis,” said Dr van der Heijde, Professor of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre.
“These data from the RAPID trials confirm that certolizumab pegol is both fast and effective at preventing this structural damage.”