CATEGORY: News

Study finds potential new drug therapy for Crohn’s disease

Ustekinumab induces, sustains clinical response in patients.

William Sandborn, UC San Diego

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 Diego, School of Medicine. The study will appear in Thursday’s (Oct. 18) issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Results from the clinical trial showed ustekinumab (Stelara) increased clinical response and remission in patients suffering from moderate to severe Crohn’s disease — a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can lead to a variety of distressing symptoms, including diarrhea, intestinal bleeding and weight loss. Serious complications such as bowel obstruction and abscesses can also occur.

“Our biggest challenge in treating patients with Crohn’s disease is managing patients whose bodies are resistant to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors such as Remicade, Humira and Cimzia,” said William Sandborn, M.D., principal investigator and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “Ustekinumab blocks two proteins that cause inflammation, interleukin 12 and 23. This finding is a significant first step towards a new treatment option for these patients.”

One third of patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease do not respond to current treatment with TNF inhibitors, which regulates the body’s immune system and inflammation. Another one third of patients only have a temporary response.

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