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Published on 19 October 2009

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Data at ACR shows rapid and sustained response for patients with RA


UCB today announced data that showed rapid and sustained improvements in ACR20, physical function, pain and fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as early as the first week, and inhibition of progression of structural joint damage (seen at week 24) following treatment with Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), together with methotrexate (MTX), was sustained up to 100 weeks.

Cimzia is approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Cimzia can be dosed at 400 mg initially and at weeks 2 and 4, followed by 200 mg every other week; for maintenance dosing, 400 mg every 4 weeks can be considered.

Also presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in Philadelphia  data from a post hoc analysis+ showed the speed of developing a clinical response to treatment with 200 mg Cimzia and MTX, was important in improving long-term outcomes for patients living with active RA.

The analysis found most patients achieved early control at Week 6. These patients had significantly better control of symptoms and significantly better improvements in pain and physical function at one year, compared to patients who achieved a later response at Week 12.

“These recently published data have shown Cimzia to work rapidly, and demonstrate that an early response to treatment is associated with greater improvements in long-term outcomes,” said lead investigator Edward Keystone, at The Rebecca MacDonald Center for Arthritis, Mount Sinai Hospital, The University of Toronto.

“The data also confirm the rapid and sustained effect of Cimzia in providing effective and clinically meaningful relief of rheumatoid arthritis, and reducing disease progression,” he added.

“This highlights the importance of getting the disease under control quickly in this debilitating condition which helps improve overall quality of life.”

The post hoc analysis+ presented at the meeting investigated the relationship between the kinetics of response and long-term outcomes in patients who responded to treatment with 200 mg Cimzia every 2 weeks and MTX, as measured by ACR20 response or change in DAS28 of ≥1.2 from baseline.

Early Week 6 responders had significantly higher ACR20, ACR50 and ACR70 responses at Week 52, compared to the later Week 12 responders. Patients with an early ACR20 response at Week 6 also experienced significantly greater improvements in physical function (HAQ-DI) and pain relief (VAS), compared to later Week 12 responders, and early Week 6 Disease Activity Score (DAS28) responders reported significantly greater pain relief.

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