New Psoriatic Arthritis Drug Approved by FDA

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis in adults.

Cimzia, a biologic treatment, targets a protein in the immune system called tumor necrosis factor-alpha, also known as TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is associated with the inflammation of psoriatic arthritis.

Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which can cause inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness in and around the joints. The aim of treatment is to relieve symptoms and to prevent progressive joint damage.

The FDA's approval of Cimzia comes just one week after Stelara was approved as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis. Similar to Stelara, Cimzia is administered by injection. While clinical trial reports show that many patients receiving Cimzia also saw improvement with their psoriasis, the drug is not being studied for psoriasis at this time.

Cimzia is already being used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.

September 30, 2013