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Adalimumab in Crohn's disease

Authors Gert Van Assche, Séverine Vermeire, Paul Rutgeerts

Published 15 February 2008 Volume 2007:1(4) Pages 355—365

Gert Van Assche, Séverine Vermeire, Paul Rutgeerts

Division of Gastroenterology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Abstract: Although the advent of infliximab has changed the treatment paradigm and goals in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), it does not provide a cure for IBD and recent evidence has demonstrated that the immunogenicity of this chimeric anti-TNF antibody is associated with secondary loss of response and intolerance. In ulcerative colitis (UC) the efficacy of infliximab was demonstrated in two large clinical trials, but long-term maintenance efficacy data are lacking. Novel biological agents have entered clinical development and pioneering trials have been reported in the last two years. For Crohn’s disease (CD) two anti-TNF agents, the fully human IgG1 anti-TNF monoclonal adalimumab and the humanized pegylated Fab-fragment certolizumab-pegol and the humanized anti α4 integrin IgG4 antibody both have demonstrated efficacy as maintenance agents. Adalimumab has been approved to treat active rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatric arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and recently moderate-to-severe luminal CD has been added as an indication for this agent both by the FDA and EMEA. Further evidence is needed to establish the therapeutic potential of adalimumab in fistulizing CD and in UC. The benefit to risk ratio of anti-TNF agents in refractory IBD is clearly positive and since most of the toxicity is class specific, adalimumab is expected to have a safety profile similar to that of infliximab except for adverse events related to infusions.

Keywords: inflammatory bowel diseases, CD, UC, biological treatment, medical treatment, controlled trial

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