Guselkumab: Expanding the GALAXI of Treatments for Crohn’s Disease

WJ Sandborn et al. Gastroenterol 2022; 162: 1650-1664. Open Access: Guselkumab for the Treatment of Crohn’s Disease: Induction Results From the Phase 2 GALAXI-1 Study

Background: Guselkumab, a selective p19 interleukin-23 antagonist, is approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Methods: GALAXI-1, a phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, randomized patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease 1:1:1:1:1 to intravenous guselkumab 200 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg at weeks 0, 4, and 8; intravenous ustekinumab approximately 6 mg/kg at week 0 and 90 mg subcutaneously at week 8; or placebo. n=309 with ~50% having disease refractory to prior biologics

Key findings:

  • At week 12, significantly greater reductions in Crohn’s Disease Activity Index from baseline (least squares means: 200 mg: –160.4, 600 mg: –138.9, and 1200 mg: –144.9 vs placebo: –36.2; all, P < .05) and significantly greater proportions of patients achieved clinical remission in each guselkumab group vs placebo
  • Improvement compared to placebo was evident as early as week 4
  • Safety event rates were generally similar across treatment groups

My take: This is an exciting time for practitioners taking care of patients as there are an increasing number of pharmacologic and dietary treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. With guselkumab, there may be an overlapping mechanism with ustekinumab which targets IL-12/23.

Related blog post: Emerging Data on Risankizumab for Crohn’s Disease

Emerging Data on Risankizumab for Crohn’s Disease

From Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News: New Anti–IL-23 Therapy Shows Benefit in Crohn’s Disease

An excerpt:

Two phase 3 placebo-controlled trials with the immune modulator risankizumab demonstrated control of Crohn’s disease whether or not patients had previously received a biologic agent.

Rates of clinical remission at 12 weeks with the interleukin (IL)-23 inhibitor risankizumab (Skyrizi, AbbVie), were about 48% in patients without prior exposure to biologic therapy and more than 40% in those with prior exposure…

The two trials, ADVANCE and MOTIVATE were presented together at the 2021 Digestive Disease Week (abstract 775a)…

Only 12% of patients in the placebo group achieved endoscopic remission versus 40.3% of those on the 600-mg dose of risankizumab (P<0.001). [Rates of endoscopic remission were higher in the biologic-naive (50.5%)]

My take: In addition to ustekinumab (already approved), a number of other therapeutic agents that target IL-23 are likely to be available soon to help manage Crohn’s disease. This includes risankizumab but others with phase 3 studies include brazikumab, mirikizumab, and guselkumab..

Slide from David Rubin Twitter Feed (March 2021). Ozanimod now approved.