NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia, UCB Pharma) in combination with methotrexate does better than methotrexate alone in certain patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to one-year results from a new trial.
As Dr. Paul Emery of the University of Leeds, UK, explains in an email to Reuters Health, “This study used a unique endpoint of sustained low disease activity . . . and compared background methotrexate with either certolizumab or placebo.”
For the study, online May 26 in the BMJ, Dr. Emery and colleagues randomized 660 patients to the combination and 219 to methotrexate and placebo; 500 in the certolizumab group and 143 in the placebo group completed the study.
All patients were naive to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and had had active RA for no more than a year. Oral methotrexate was initiated at 10 mg per week and was escalated, if tolerated, to a maximum of 25 mg per week by Week 8.