Certolizumab pegol shows promise for nr-axSpA treatment


Certolizumab pegol was effective at treating nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis, the first drug to show positive results with the disease, according to topline data from a phase 3, placebo-controlled trial.

After 52 weeks, 47.2% of adult nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) patients within the C-AXSPAND trial who received certolizumab pegol (Cimzia) achieved at least a 2-point improvement on their Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score, compared with 7.0% of nr-axSpA patients who received a placebo. In addition, patients who received certolizumab pegol also met the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society criteria of 40% response after 12 weeks.

“People living with nr-axSpA frequently face delayed or incorrect diagnosis, and currently, in the U.S., there are no FDA-approved options to treat this condition. The C-AXSPAND study results provide important insights into the potential of Cimzia as an effective and durable treatment option for these patients,” Atul Deodhar, MD, professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, and a lead investigator of the study, said in an announcement from certolizumab’s manufacturer, UCB.

Certolizumab pegol is currently indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe RA, active psoriatic arthritis, and active ankylosing spondylitis, as well as for the reduction of Crohn’s disease symptoms. The most common adverse events in RA, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis are upper respiratory tract infection, headache, hypertension, nasopharyngitis, back pain, pyrexia, pharyngitis, and rash.

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