Two studies identify potential new drug for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

Vedolizumab, a new intravenous antibody medication, has shown positive results for treating both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The findings, published in two papers, will appear in the August 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

William Sandborn, MD, principal investigator of the Crohn's disease study, said the results offer new hope to the more than one million Americans who suffer from (IBD) and do not respond to treatment. Both studies showed that the use of vedolizumab resulted in remission and discontinued use of prednisone, a common yet difficult to tolerate drug used to treat both diseases.

"The two trials showed highly encouraging results for patients suffering from moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis when such as steroids, immune suppressive drugs and anti- (TNF) biologic drugs failed," said Sandborn, of the Division of Gastroenterology at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at UC San Diego Health System. "This is a disease modifying drug. In many cases of patients with ulcerative colitis, complete healing of the bowel was observed and maintained with continued use of vedolizumab."

Vedolizumab is targeted to disease within the digestive tract so other areas of the body remain unaffected. It blocks that release proteins called cytokines that trigger inflammation, causing tissue damage and diarrhea to move into the and colon. The targeted nature of the medication helps reduce troublesome side effects such as weight gain, nausea and headaches caused by other treatment options. Current treatments such as steroids and immunosuppressive medications broadly suppress the immune system, which can also put the patient at risk for infections.

"Inflammatory bowel disease causes severe ongoing bouts of illness that adversely affect a patient's quality of life at home and work," said Sandborn. "These latest findings will potentially lead to a new drug therapy that will improve a patient's overall lifestyle."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
An international clinical trial led by Dr. Brian Feagan of Western University in London, Canada has found that the investigational antibody vedolizumab is an effective treatment for those suffering from ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease when other treatments have failed. Credit: Western University

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of inflammatory autoimmune diseases, impacting the small intestine and colon. Clinical symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, fecal urgency and weight loss. Serious complications such as bowel obstruction, colon cancer, malnutrition and abscesses can also occur, resulting in hospitalization and the possible surgical removal of portions of the bowel and colon.

Eight hundred and ninety five patients were part of the trial conducted in 34 countries, and 1,115 patients were part of the Crohn's disease clinical trial conducted in 39 countries. Eligible patients for both trials were between 18 and 80-years-old and were treated for 52 weeks in the placebo-controlled studies. Benefits could be seen six weeks into the study.

Related Stories

Study finds potential new drug therapy for Crohn's disease

Oct 17, 2012

Ustekinumab, an antibody proven to treat the skin condition psoriasis, has now shown positive results in decreasing the debilitating effects of Crohn's Disease, according to researchers at the University of California San ...

Biomarkers discovered for inflammatory bowel disease

May 21, 2013

Using the Department of Defense Serum Repository (DoDSR), University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have identified a number of biomarkers for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which could help with earlier diagnosis and ...

Inflammatory bowel disease raises risk of melanoma

May 20, 2013

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, report researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that IBD is associated with a 37 percent greater risk for the disease. ...

Recommended for you

New hope for rare disease drug development

3 hours ago

Using combinations of well-known approved drugs has for the first time been shown to be potentially safe in treating a rare disease, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the open access Orphanet Journal of ...

Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

6 hours ago

Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus.

Migraine may double risk for facial paralysis

6 hours ago

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

Anti-diabetic drug springs new hope for tuberculosis patients

13 hours ago

A more effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB) could soon be available as scientists have discovered that Metformin (MET), a drug for treating diabetes, can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

k_a_n_o_n
not rated yet Aug 22, 2013
Another drug - another BS

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.