Conference Coverage

Many drugs in the pipeline for IBD treatment



A wide variety of drugs are in the pipeline for both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease patients who are failing currently available therapies.

“The challenge for all of us is to integrate the right drugs for the right patients,” William J. Sandborn, MD, AGAF, said at the inaugural Crohn’s & Colitis Congress, a partnership of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association.

Dr. William J. Sandborn of the University of California San Diego

Dr. William J. Sandborn

Dr. Sandborn, professor and chief of the division of gastroenterology at the University of California, San Diego, began his presentation by highlighting anti-integrin therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment. These leukocyte membrane glycoproteins target beta1 and beta7 subunits. They interact with endothelial ligands VCAM-1, fibronectin, and MadCAM-1, and mediate leukocyte adhesion and trafficking. Approved anti-integrin therapies to date include natalizumab and vedolizumab, while investigational therapies include etrolizumab, PF-00547,659, abrilumab, and AJM 300.

In a phase 2 study of etrolizumab as induction therapy for moderate to severe UC, Séverine Vermeire, MD, Dr. Sandborn, and associates randomized 124 patients to one of two dose levels of subcutaneous etrolizumab (100 mg at weeks 0, 4, and 8, with placebo at week 2 or a 420-mg loading dose at week 0 followed by 300 mg at weeks 2, 4, and 8), or matching placebo (The Lancet 2014 348;309-18). They found that etrolizumab was more likely to lead to clinical remission at week 10 than was placebo, especially at the 100-mg dose. Meanwhile, a more recent study of the anti-MAdCAM antibody PF-00547659 in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis found that it was better than placebo for induction of remission (The Lancet 2017;390:135-144). Investigators for the trial, known as TURANDOT, found that the greatest clinical effects were observed with the 22.5-mg and 75-mg doses. “This is now being taken forward in phase 3 trials by Shire,” Dr. Sandborn said.


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