Efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol in combination with methotrexate in methotrexate-inadequate responder Chinese patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: 24-week results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study.
OBJECTIVE : To evaluate the efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol (CZP) in combination with methotrexate (MTX) in Chinese patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an inadequate response to MTX. METHODS : This 24-week, phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 30 centres across China. A total of 430 patients were randomised 3:1 to receive CZP 200 mg every 2 weeks (loading dose: 400 mg CZP at Weeks 0, 2 and 4) plus MTX or placebo (PBO) plus MTX. The primary endpoint was ACR20 response at Week 24, for which the superiority of CZP+MTX over PBO+MTX was evaluated. Additional parameters for clinical efficacy, health outcomes, immunogenicity and safety were assessed. RESULTS : At Week 24, 54.8% of CZP+MTX patients and 23.9% of PBO+MTX patients achieved ACR20 (odds ratio: 3.9, p<0.001). CZP+MTX patients also achieved greater improvements in HAQ-DI, higher ACR50/70 responses and higher DAS28(ESR) remission rate at Week 24. Rapid onset of response to CZP+MTX was observed as early as Week 1 for most of the clinical, functional and patient-reported outcomes. Incidences of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were similar between treatment arms. Serious TEAEs were reported by 6.3% of CZP+MTX patients and 2.7% of PBO+MTX patients. No new safety signals were observed. CONCLUSIONS : CZP in combination with MTX showed an acceptable safety profile, a rapid onset of response and sustained effects in reducing the signs and symptoms of RA and improving physical function in Chinese patients with RA and an inadequate response to MTX.