Another biologic makes the grade – but will NASTY sanction it?

October 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 2 Comments
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Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), a biologic produced by UCB and administered by injection under the skin, has got the OK from the European Commission for use in rheumatoid arthritis. (It was approved by the FDA in the US in May.) It has been approved both as a combination therapy with MTX for those with moderate to severe active RA who haven’t responded to treatment with DMARDs, AND as a treatment on its own where a patient can’t use methotrexate.

Trials showed that Cimzia brought significant benefits to patients that lasted for more than two years. Clinical data also indicates that Cimzia stops disease progression – or did for the length of the trial, which was around two years.

Of course the big question for the UK (and it’s a big question for UCB as well since the UK market is quite a significant one) is will ‘NICE’ approve it for use on the NHS? I wouldn’t like to try and guess but it’ll be an interesting story to follow.



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  1. Hello from Seattle USA. I found your blog about Cimzia. I also have RA and I just started on it two weeks ago after Enbrel quit working for me. So far I have begun to notice improved energy and less joint problems. But time will tell. Is it approved in the UK?

  2. Really hope it works for you! As to approved in the UK, we kind of have two levels of approval here – approved as safe (yes, it is) and approved for prescription on the NHS (I’m not sure, but it’s probably not!) Once something is approved as safe, ‘NICE’ get to decide whether they’ll actually let people have it or whether they’d rather leave them to rot. (Sorry – sore subject!!!) ;o) Welcome to the blog – and I’m not usually bitter and twisted – NICE just have that effect on me!

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