Certolizumab pegol: A TNF-α antagonist for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease

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OBJECTIVE: To review certolizumab pegol for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease (CD). DATA SOURCES: Clinical studies were identified through MEDLINE (1966 - October 1, 2009), bibliographies of articles, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, clinicaltrials.gov, fda.gov, and New Drug Approval documents (www.accessdata. fda.gov). Search terms were CDP 870, certolizumab pegol, Cimzia, Crohn's disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Human studies describing pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of certolizumab pegol were identified. Phase 2 and Phase 3 randomized controlled trials and observational studies were reviewed, with emphasis given to Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials. DATA SYNTHESIS: Certolizumab pegol is a tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-α) antagonist, approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe CD that is failing conventional therapy. It is an antigen-binding fragment (Fab') portion of an immunoglobulin G antibody attached to a polyethylene glycol moiety. In 2 Phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled trials, certolizumab pegol was effective in inducing clinical response compared with placebo. Common adverse effects during clinical trials were upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, and arthralgia. Serious infection occurred in 3% of patients. The 4 published controlled trials for the use of certolizumab pegol in the treatment of CD share similar limitations with other studies of TNF-α antagonists including high placebo response, natural course of disease fluctuation, and the use of Crohn's Disease Activity Index to assess outcomes. However, certolizumab pegol is an effective agent for adults with moderate-to-severe CD with less than optimal response to conventional therapy. Long-term efficacy and safety data are unavailable. Certolizumab pegol and adalimumab, unlike infliximab, can be self-administered. CONCLUSIONS: With similarity in cost and the lack of head-to-head comparisons, patient and physician preference may determine choice of TNF-α antagonist.

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