The first study included 662 people with moderate to severe Crohn's disease.
Half of the patients got Cimzia shots every two weeks for the
first month, and then one shot per month for the rest of the six-month
For comparison, the other patients got sham shots (placebo) on the same
dosing schedule. Patients in both groups kept diaries about their Crohn's
symptoms and got regular checkups.
At the end of the study, Crohn's symptoms had eased for 23% of the Cimzia
group, compared with 16% of those in the placebo group.
Cimzia had a "modest improvement in the response rate, as compared with the
placebo," write the researchers. They included William Sandborn, MD, of the
gastroenterology and hepatology division of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
However, patients taking Cimzia weren't more likely to achieve remission
from Crohn's disease than those taking the placebo.
Cimzia: Maintaining Results
The second study focused on maintaining improvements in Crohn's disease
symptoms over six months.
The researchers included Stefan Schreiber, MD, of the Hospital for General
Internal Medicine at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.
They studied 668 people with moderate to severe Crohn's disease.
The study lasted for six months. For the first month, all of the patients
got Cimzia shots every other week. During that time, Crohn's symptoms improved
for nearly two-thirds of the patients.
After that, Schreiber's team focused only on the patients who had shown
improvement with Cimzia treatment.
The researchers put the patients on a maintenance plan -- a monthly shot of
Cimzia or a placebo.
Patients taking Cimzia were more likely to maintain their improvement in
Crohn's symptoms during the six-month study, compared with those taking the
SOURCES: Sandborn, W. The New England Journal of Medicine, July 19,
2007; vol 357: pp 228-238. Schreiber, S. The New England Journal of
Medicine, July 19, 2007; vol 357: pp 239-250. Lewis, J. The New England
Journal of Medicine, July 19, 2007; vol 357: pp 296-298. News release, Mayo