UCB announced results from several Phase III clinical trials evaluating CIMZIA(R) (certolizumab pegol) – the only PEGylated anti-TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor)
- presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific
Meeting. Results from the open-label extension study to RAPID 1 met both
co-primary endpoints (American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 response(a)
scores at Week 24 and change from baseline in modified Total Sharp Scores
at Week 52). Results also showed that CIMZIA together with methotrexate
(MTX) provided ACR 20 response as early as Week 1 with sustained long-term
benefit in relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) through 100
Another analysis investigating the rapidity of response to CIMZIA as a
monotherapy (FAST 4WARD) and together with MTX (RAPID 1) was presented at
the meeting. Both studies met their primary endpoints (ACR20 response rate
at Week 24) with clinical and statistical significance. The analysis
presented showed that the response to CIMZIA treatment was rapid in both
studies with more than a third (36.7 percent) of patients receiving CIMZIA
as a monotherapy (FAST 4WARD) and nearly a quarter (22.9 percent) of
patients receiving CIMZIA together with MTX (RAPID 1) achieving an ACR20
response within one week, both significantly different from placebo. ACR20
response rates peaked at Week 12 in both studies and were sustained until
the end of the studies (Week 24 in FAST 4WARD; Week 52 in RAPID 1).
“The data show that treatment with CIMZIA in clinical trials produced a
fast and clinically meaningful effect for RA patients over an extended
period of time,” said Michael Schiff, M.D., study investigator and Clinical
Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
CIMZIA had a low occurrence of treatment discontinuation due to adverse
events. The most commonly occurring adverse events were headache,
nasopharyngitis, and upper respiratory tract infections. Pooled safety data
from the two main phase III trials showed there was a low incidence of
injection site burning and stinging (n=
Additional data presented focused on the effect of treatment with
CIMZIA together with MTX in quality of life measurements. In RAPID 1,
nearly three-quarters of patients achieved improvements in physical
function when treated with CIMZIA together with MTX, including 72.4 percent
of those initially treated with CIMZIA 200 mg together with MTX or 70.1
percent of those treated with CIMZIA 400 mg together with MTX.
On a 10-point improvement on the Patients Assessment of Arthritis Pain
(PAAP) scale, the data showed an average improvement of 39.1 and 38.1
points for those on CIMZIA 200 mg together with MTX and CIMZIA 400 mg
together with MTX, respectively.
“It is exciting to see that these patients are deriving and maintaining
improvements on multiple levels with continued CIMZIA treatment,” noted
Philip Mease, M.D., study investigator at the Seattle Rheumatology
Associates and Director of Rheumatology Research at Swedish Medical Center.
“Reducing pain and discomfort from RA is extremely important, but it is
also noteworthy when patients find treatments that lead to a better overall
quality of life.”
In RAPID 1, patients treated with CIMZIA together with MTX reported
gains in additional work and household work days per month and productive
work and household work days per month as early as week 4. Over 6 months,
improvements continued compared to the control group. These improvements
were maintained for up to one year.
Additionally, data presented shows Health Reported Quality of Life
Measurements (HRQoL) approached population norms in the “vitality” and
“mental health” domains. As assessed by the Fatigue Assessment Scale of 1
to 10, patients in the trial also reported a mean reduction in fatigue to
3.1 points at week 100 with CIMZIA together with MTX treatment.
RAPID Clinical Trials Program
The international, multi-center, double-blind placebo-controlled RAPID
(RA PreventIon of structural Damage) clinical trials were designed to
establish the efficacy and tolerability of CIMZIA(R) (certolizumab pegol)
together with methotrexate (MTX) in the treatment of active rheumatoid
arthritis who did not adequately respond to conventional treatment. The
program is comprised of two large, international, multi-center
placebo-controlled studies – RAPID 1 (027) and RAPID 2 (050).
In the year-long RAPID 1 trial, patients randomly received one of three
treatment regimens: 393 patients received CIMZIA 400 mg at weeks 0, 2 and
4, then CIMZIA 200 mg together with MTX every two weeks; 390 patients
received CIMZIA 400 mg together with MTX every 2 weeks; 199 patients
received placebo together with MTX every 2 weeks. RAPID 1 met co-primary
endpoints: ACR20 response rate(a) at week 24 and the change from baseline
in mTSS(b) at week 52. An open-label extension study continued to evaluate
the effects of CIMZIA over two years.
In the six-month RAPID 2 trial, 619 patients randomly received one of
three treatment regimens: 246 patients received CIMZIA 400 mg at weeks O, 2
and 4, then CIMZIA 200 mg together with MTX every two weeks; 246 patients
received CIMZIA 400 mg together with MTX every two weeks; 127 patients
received placebo together with MTX every two weeks.
In all arms of the study, the dose of methotrexate was 10mg per week or
greater. Patients were assessed for improvement in signs and symptoms of
RA. The primary endpoint for the study RAPID 2 was ACR20 responder rate at
In both studies, CIMZIA given at a dosage of 200mg every two weeks
produced similar clinical results as a dosage of 400mg every two weeks.
(a) ACR (American College of Rheumatology) response scores measure
improvement in the tender and swollen joint count and also include
assessment of the following five parameters: patient’s global assessment,
physician’s global assessment, patient’s assessment of pain, degree of
disability, and level of acute-phase reactant. ACR20 is achieved when there
is 20% improvement in the tender and swollen joint count as well as a 20%
improvement in at least three of the five parameters. ACR50 & ACR70 are an
extension of these criteria corresponding to a 50% and 70% improvement
(b) Modified Total Sharp Scores (mTSS) is a measurement used to assess
changes in bone erosion and joint-space narrowing measured by X-ray. A
smaller change in mTSS reflects less progression of joint damage. (2)
Open-Label Study to RAPID 1 (028)
The Phase III, open-label extension (OLE) study to RAPID 1 is
investigating the long-term efficacy and safety of subcutaneous CIMZIA (400
mg every 2 weeks) together with methotrexate in the treatment of signs and
symptoms and in the prevention of joint damage in patients with active RA.
Patients completing RAPID 1 through 52 weeks (completers), or who were
ACR20 nonresponders at Week 12 (confirmed at Week 14) and were to be
withdrawn from the study at Week 16 (withdrawers), could continue in the
028 study. The open-label extension study continued to evaluate the effects
of CIMZIA over two years.
FAST 4WARD (Study 011)
In the 24-week FAST 4WARD (eFficAcy and Safety of cerTolizumab pegol –
4 Weekly dosAge in RheumatoiD arthritis, Study O11) phase III study, 220
adult patients with active RA who had previously failed at least one
disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) were randomized to receive
either CIMZIA 400 mg subcutaneously every four weeks (n=111) or placebo
(n=109). Patients were assessed for improvement in signs and symptoms of
RA. The primary endpoint of the 011 study was ACR20 responder rate, with
secondary measures including ACR50 and ACR70 responder rates.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease that
causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It is estimated that five
million people suffer from RA globally, with 0.3 percent to 1 percent of
the population in industrialized countries suffering from RA. It is
estimated that, approximately 1.3 million people in the United States have
RA. Women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Although it
can affect people of all ages, the onset of RA usually occurs between the
ages of 35-55.
Symptoms of RA include joint stiffness, joint pain, inflammation of the
affected areas and an associated reduction in mobility. These symptoms can
be intermittent and vary in severity from patient to patient. In more
severe cases RA can eventually lead to disability. RA patients are also at
a higher risk of developing other conditions, in particular heart disease,
stroke, infections, lung problems and osteoporosis.
As there is currently no cure for RA, treatment goals center on disease
management and controlling symptoms. Treatment is aimed at controlling
disease progression, providing pain relief and reducing swelling,
preventing joint damage and deformity and maintaining function of the
affected joints to prevent disability.
Traditional treatments for RA include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
(DMARDs), with biological therapies a more recent addition. Anti-TNF
(TNF-alpha; Tumor Necrosis Factor) therapies are specific types of
biological therapies which have been used in patients with RA. They may be
given alone but are usually given in combination with methotrexate or
another immunosuppressant. They work by inhibiting the action of TNF-alpha,
an inflammatory mediator, either directly or indirectly responsible for
damaging the joint.
About CIMZIA(R) (certolizumab pegol)
CIMZIA is the only PEGylated anti-TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor). CIMZIA
has a high affinity for human TNF-alpha, selectively neutralizing the
pathophysiological effects of TNF-alpha. Over the past decade, TNF-alpha
has emerged as a major target of basic research and clinical investigation.
This cytokine plays a key role in mediating pathological inflammation, and
excess TNF-alpha production has been directly implicated in a wide variety
UCB submitted a Marketing Authorisation Application to the European
Medicines Agency in June 2008 requesting the approval of CIMZIA as a
subcutaneous treatment for adults with moderate to severe active RA. The US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CIMZIA (certolizumab
pegol), for reducing signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease and maintaining
clinical response in adult patients with moderate to severe active disease
who have an inadequate response to conventional therapy. CIMZIA was
approved in Switzerland for the induction of a clinical response and for
the maintenance of a clinical response and remission in patients with
active Crohn’s disease who have not responded adequately to conventional
treatment. CIMZIA is currently under review by the FDA for the treatment of
adult patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). CIMZIA is a
registered trademark of UCB PHARMA S.A. Please visit ucb-group for
full prescribing information for CIMZIA.
Tuberculosis (frequently disseminated or extrapulmonary at clinical
presentation), invasive fungal infections, and other opportunistic
infections, have been observed in patients receiving CIMZIA. Some of these
infections have been fatal. Anti-tuberculosis treatment of patients with
latent tuberculosis infection reduces the risk of reactivation in patients
receiving treatment with TNF blockers such as CIMZIA. However, active
tuberculosis has developed in patients receiving CIMZIA whose tuberculin
test was negative. Evaluate patients for tuberculosis risk factors and test
for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating CIMZIA and during
therapy. Initiate treatment of latent tuberculosis infection prior to
therapy with CIMZIA. Monitor patients receiving CIMZIA for signs and
symptoms of active tuberculosis, including patients who tested negative for
latent tuberculosis infection. Consider anti-tuberculosis therapy prior to
initiation of CIMZIA in patients with a past history of latent or active
tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed.
Serious infections, sepsis, and cases of opportunistic infections,
including fatalities, have been reported in patients receiving TNF
blockers, including CIMZIA. Infections have been reported in patients
receiving CIMZIA alone or in conjunction with immunosuppressive agents. Do
not initiate treatment with CIMZIA in patients with active infections,
including chronic or localized infections. Patients who develop a new
infection while undergoing treatment with CIMZIA should be monitored
closely. Discontinue administration of CIMZIA if a patient develops a
serious infection. Exercise caution when considering the use of CIMZIA in
patients with a history of recurrent infection, concomitant
immunosuppressive therapy, or underlying conditions that may predispose
them to infections, or patients who have resided in regions where
tuberculosis and histoplasmosis are endemic.
Use of TNF blockers, including CIMZIA may increase the risk of
reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in patients who are chronic
carriers of this virus. Some cases have been fatal. Evaluate patients at
risk for HBV infection for prior evidence of HBV infection before
initiating CIMZIA therapy. Exercise caution in prescribing CIMZIA for
patients identified as carriers of HBV. Patients who are carriers of HBV
and require treatment with CIMZIA should be closely monitored for clinical
and laboratory signs of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for
several months following termination of therapy. In patients who develop
HBV reactivation, discontinue CIMZIA and initiate effective anti-viral
therapy with appropriate supportive treatment.
During controlled and open-labeled portions of CIMZIA studies of
Crohn’s disease and other investigational uses, malignancies were observed
at a rate (95% confidence interval) of 0.6 (0.4, 0.8) per 100 patient-years
among 4,650 CIMZIA-treated patients verses a rate of 0.6 (0.2, 1.7) per 100
patient-years among 1,319 placebo-treated patients. The size of the control
group and limited duration of the controlled portions of the studies
preclude the ability to draw firm conclusions. In studies of CIMZIA for
Crohn’s disease and other investigational uses, there was one case of
lymphoma among 2,657 CIMZIA-treated patients and one case of Hodgkin
lymphoma among 1,319 placebo-treated patients. The potential role of TNF
blocker therapy in the development of malignancies is not known.
Symptoms compatible with hypersensitivity reactions, including
angioedema, dyspnea, hypotension, rash, serum sickness, and urticaria, have
been reported rarely following CIMZIA administration. If such reactions
occur, discontinue further administration of CIMZIA and institute
Use of TNF blockers, including CIMZIA, has been associated with rare
cases of new onset or exacerbation of clinical symptoms and/or radiographic
evidence of demyelinating disease. Rare cases of neurological disorders,
including seizure disorder, optic neuritis, and peripheral neuropathy have
been reported in patients treated with CIMZIA; the causal relationship to
CIMZIA remains unclear. Exercise caution in considering the use of CIMZIA
in patients with these disorders.
Rare reports of pancytopenia, including aplastic anemia, have been
reported with TNF blockers. Medically significant cytopenia (e.g.,
leukopenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia) has been infrequently reported
with CIMZIA. The causal relationship of these events to CIMZIA remains
unclear. Advise all patients to seek immediate medical attention if they
develop signs and symptoms suggestive of blood dyscrasias or infection
(e.g., persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, pallor) while on CIMZIA.
Consider discontinuation of CIMZIA therapy in patients with confirmed
significant hematologic abnormalities.
Serious infections were seen in clinical studies with concurrent use of
anakinra (an interleukin-1 antagonist) and another TNF blocker, with no
added benefit. Therefore, the combination of CIMZIA and anakinra is not
Interference with certain coagulation assays has been detected in
patients treated with CIMZIA. There is no evidence that CIMZIA therapy has
an effect on in vivo coagulation.
Cases of worsening congestive heart failure (CHF) and new onset CHF
have been reported with TNF blockers. CIMZIA has not been formally studied
in patients with CHF. Exercise caution when using CIMZIA in patients who
have heart failure and monitor them carefully.
Treatment with CIMZIA may result in the formation of autoantibodies
and, rarely, in the development of a lupus-like syndrome. Discontinue
treatment if symptoms of lupus-like syndrome develop.
Do not administer live vaccines or attenuated vaccines concurrently
In controlled Crohn’s clinical trials, the most common adverse events
that occurred in greater than or equal to 5% of CIMZIA patients (n=620) and
more frequently than with placebo (n=614) were upper respiratory infection
(20% CIMZIA, 13% placebo), urinary tract infection (7% CIMZIA, 6% placebo),
and arthralgia (6% CIMZIA, 4% placebo). The proportion of patients who
discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions in the controlled clinical
studies was 8% for CIMZIA and 7% for placebo.
CIMZIA should be administered by a healthcare professional.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (ucb-group) is a global leader in the
biopharmaceutical industry dedicated to the research, development and
commercialization of innovative medicines with a focus on the fields of
central nervous system and immunology disorders. Employing around 12 000
people in over 40 countries, UCB achieved revenue of 3.6 billion euro in
2007. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). UCB’s North
American headquarters is located in Atlanta, Ga.
Forward Looking statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current
plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements are subject to
risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially
different from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements
contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in
such differences include: changes in general economic, business and
competitive conditions, effects of future judicial decisions, changes in
regulation, exchange rate fluctuations and hiring and retention of its
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