, with objective evidence of inflammation, making it the first treatment approved by the agency for the condition.
The FDA approved the tumor necrosis factor inhibitor based on results from a randomized clinical trial in 317 adult patients with nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) who had elevated C-reactive protein levels and/or sacroiliitis (inflammation of the sacroiliac joints) on MRI.
The trial entailed 52 weeks of double-blind therapy with certolizumab at a starting dose of 400 mg on weeks 0, 2, and 4 followed by 200 mg every 2 weeks, or placebo. The Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score Major Improvement rate, defined as at least a 2-point improvement from baseline, was 47% in the active treatment arm, compared with 7% on placebo. The Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis International Society 40% response rate, a more patient-reported outcome measure, was 57% in the certolizumab group and 16% in controls (Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 March 8. doi: 10.1002/art.40866).
The overall safety profile observed in the Cimzia treatment group was consistent with the known safety profile of certolizumab.
Cimzia was first approved in 2008 and has FDA-approved indications for adult patients with Crohn’s disease, moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, active ankylosing spondylitis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.