FDA Approves UCB Inc's Cimzia

Cimzia is in a group of drugs called tumor necrosis factor blockers.

Certolizumab reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

Cimzia is used to treat the symptoms of Crohn's disease after other drugs have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms. Cimzia is also used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults

Cimzia is a humanized, pegylated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) inhibitor. TNFa is a key pro-inflammatory cytokine with a central role in inflammatory processes.

Cimzia is specifically indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease and maintaining clinical response in adult patients with moderately to severely active disease who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy.

Cimzia is supplied as a powder for reconstitution into a liquid formulation designed for subcutaneous administration. The recommended initial dose of the drug is 400 mg (given as two subcutaneous injections of 200 mg) initially, and at Weeks 2 and 4. In patients who obtain a clinical response, the recommended maintenance regimen is 400 mg every four weeks.

What Is Cimzia?

Cimzia is a TNF (tumor necrosis factor) blocker -- the same class of drugs as Enbrel, Remicade, Humira, and Simponi. Cimzia is the only drug in the TNF class that touts being less poisonous to cells because of its chemical properties (e.g., PEGylated, Fc region free). In addition, compared to other TNF blockers, Cimzia reportedly has a higher affinity for human TNF.

What Is TNF?

It helps to know what TNF is so you can better understand why Cimzia works to block it. TNF is a cytokine, essentially a molecular messenger between cells, that plays a role in the inflammatory process. Excess TNF-alpha production by the body has been linked to several diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

How Is Cimzia Given?

Cimzia is injected under the skin. It is supplied as a powder that must be reconstituted into a liquid formulation so it can be given as a subcutaneous injection.

Cimzia is a prescription drug used for the treatment of Crohn's disease. It comes in injectable form and is given by your healthcare provider. By blocking TNF-alpha (a naturally occurring chemical in the body), the medicine can help decrease inflammation and relieve the signs and symptoms of Crohn's. Potential side effects include joint pain, upper respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections.