Study finds RA drug has no placental transfer in pregnancy

A study in Paris has shown that the biologic anti-TNF drug certolizumab pegol does not cross the placenta and is therefore not present in the blood of newborn infants.


The results of a new study were recently released by the European League Against Rheumatism.

The study carried out by Dr Xavier Mariette and colleagues of the Bicêtre Hospital in Paris, used a specially developed drug-specific, sensitive biochemical test to detect certolizumab pegol in newborn infants.

At birth, 13 out of 14 infant blood samples (taken from the mother’s umbilical cord as well as the infant’s) and all samples were taken 4 and 8 weeks after birth showed no measurable levels.

16 pregnant women (at 30 plus weeks, gestation), who were receiving certolizumab pegol at a dose of 200mg every 2 weeks or 400mg every 4 weeks were included in the study. The last dose, in all patients, was within 35 days of delivery.

According to Dr Mariette, “This study is the only clinical research that demonstrates how an effective anti-TNF shows minimal to no placental transfer from mother to infant which is positive news for pregnant women with active inflammatory disease. Most anti-TNFs have been found to cross the placenta and are usually withdrawn during pregnancy.”

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