The approval of UCB’s Cimzia marks the first anti-tumor necrosis factor biologic therapy for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) patients in the US, having been already approved for the condition in Europe.
Antoine Grey, MBiochem, Immunology Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“UCB’s efforts to expand into a patient population with a high level of unmet need have finally proved successful, and distinguishes Cimzia from the rest of the anti-TNF crowd. Now in the US, nr-axSpA patients no longer have to rely on X-ray imaging showing inflammation in order to be prescribed the drugs they desperately need to reduce radiographic progression of the disease.
“Moreover, the approval comes at a time when several biologics are facing challenges from biosimilars. Unlike the likes of Remicade and Enbrel, who are indicated for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis alongside biosimilars, Cimzia faces no such competition in the nr-axSpA space in the US. This puts UCB in a really strong position to help patients with a disease where early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for patients’ wellbeing.”