Enthusiasm for Vedolizumab

A recent GI & Hepatology News article quoted several leading IBD researchers stating that they consider Vedolizumab a first-line biologic therapy for ulcerative colitis.  Here’s the link:

Vedolizumab for UC

Here’s an excerpt:

Dr. Feagan presented outcome results after 80 and 104 weeks of vedolizumab treatment of 278 patients with ulcerative colitis who had completed a full year of treatment during the GEMINI 1 trial [Phase 3, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blinded, Multicenter Study of the Induction and Maintenance of Clinical Response and Remission by Vedolizumab in Patients with Moderate to Severe Ulcerative Colitis] (N. Engl. J. Med. 2013;369:699-710). He reported that the percentage of patients in clinical remission grew from 66% after 52 weeks on treatment (the time of entry into the long-term phase of the study), to 77% after 80 weeks, which then dropped to 73% after 104 weeks. Patients with a clinical response increased from 78% after 52 weeks to 88% after 80 weeks, and then dropped to 83% after 104 weeks.

During weeks 53-104 on treatment the rates of adverse events, serious adverse events, serious infections, adverse events resulting in treatment discontinuation, enteric infections, and malignancies were all low and similar to the event rates seen among the patients randomized to placebo in the GEMINI 1 study.

The results suggest that with vedolizumab treatment of inflammatory bowel disease “once you achieve an effect it is long-lasting,” Dr. Rutgeerts said in an interview. But he cautioned that the long-lasting efficacy was achieved with treatment every 4 weeks. While this approach was safe, it would also be expensive in routine practice, he noted. “The safety looks good, but the cost would be very high.”

“A key concept of vedolizumab is that it builds efficacy over time,” commented Dr. Silvio Danese during a talk at the meeting. “Vedolizumab is not the fastest runner, but [treating inflammatory bowel disease] is a marathon, and the important thing is getting to the finish”

Bottomline: Head-to-head trials would be helpful to determine which biologic agent should be considered first-line.

Related blog posts:

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10 thoughts on “Enthusiasm for Vedolizumab

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