Lack of placental transfer of certolizumab pegol during pregnancy: results from CRIB, a prospective, postmarketing, pharmacokinetic study

Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Feb;77(2):228-233. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212196. Epub 2017 Oct 13.


Objectives: There is a need for effective and safe treatment during pregnancy in women with chronic inflammatory diseases. This study evaluated placental transfer of certolizumab pegol (CZP), an Fc-free anti-tumour necrosis factor drug, from CZP-treated pregnant women to their infants.

Methods: CRIB was a pharmacokinetic (PK) study of women ≥30 weeks pregnant receiving commercial CZP for a locally approved indication (last dose ≤35 days prior to delivery). Blood samples were collected from mothers, umbilical cords and infants at delivery, and infants again at weeks 4 and 8 post-delivery. CZP plasma concentrations were measured with a highly sensitive and CZP-specific electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (lower limit of quantification 0.032 μg/mL).

Results: Sixteen women entered and completed the study. Maternal CZP plasma levels at delivery were within the expected therapeutic range (median [range] 24.4 [5.0-49.4] μg/mL). Of the 16 infants, 2 were excluded from the per-protocol set: 1 due to missing data at birth and 1 due to implausible PK data. Of the remaining 14 infants, 13 had no quantifiable CZP levels at birth (<0.032 μg/mL), and 1 had a minimal CZP level of 0.042 μg/mL (infant/mother plasma ratio 0.0009); no infants had quantifiable CZP levels at weeks 4 and 8. Of 16 umbilical cord samples, 1 was excluded due to missing data; 3/15 had quantifiable CZP levels (maximum 0.048 μg/mL).

Conclusions: There was no to minimal placental transfer of CZP from mothers to infants, suggesting lack of in utero foetal exposure during the third trimester. These results support continuation of CZP treatment during pregnancy, when considered necessary.

Trial registration number: NCT02019602; Results.

Keywords: anti-tnf; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; spondyloarthritis; treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antirheumatic Agents / blood*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy
  • Certolizumab Pegol / adverse effects
  • Certolizumab Pegol / blood*
  • Certolizumab Pegol / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods
  • Placenta
  • Pregnancy
  • Product Surveillance, Postmarketing
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Certolizumab Pegol

Associated data