Objective: To study the efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol (CZP) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had discontinued an initially effective TNF inhibitor (TNF-IR).
Methods: A randomised 12-week double-blind trial with CZP (n=27) or placebo (n=10) followed by an open-label 12 week extension period with CZP.
Results: Baseline characteristics of the 2 groups were similar. ACR20 response (primary end point) at week 12 was achieved in 61.5%, and none of CZP and placebo-treated patients, respectively. Weeks 12-24 showed a maximum effect for CZP at 12 weeks, and that placebo patients switched blindly to CZP attained similar results seen with CZP in weeks 0-12. Since this result was highly significant, study inclusion was terminated after entry of 33.6% of the originally planned 102 patients. Adverse events occurred in 16/27 (59.3%) CZP subjects and 4/10 (40%) placebo subjects. There were no serious adverse events, neoplasms, opportunistic, or serious infections.
Conclusions: This first, prospective, blinded trial of CZP in secondary TNF-IR shows that the ACR20 response rate observed with CZP was higher than that reported in most previous studies of TNF-IR. Additionally, CZP demonstrated good safety and tolerability. This study supports the use of CZP in RA patients who are secondary non-responders to anti-TNF therapies.
Keywords: Anti-TNF; DAS28; DMARDs (biologic); Rheumatoid Arthritis; Treatment.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.