Benefit-Risk Assessment of Vedolizumab in the Treatment of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Robert Battat, Christopher Ma, Vipul Jairath, Reena Khanna, Brian G Feagan
Drug Safety: An International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Drug Experience 2019, 42 (5): 617-632
Vedolizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody to the α4β7 integrin, reduces lymphocyte trafficking to the intestine. This gut-selective mechanism of action offers a safer alternative to other biologics used to treat ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). We reviewed efficacy and safety data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), open-label extension (OLE) and observational studies, and pooled analyses of vedolizumab therapy. In UC, RCTs demonstrate that vedolizumab is effective for induction and maintenance of remission, regardless of prior tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist exposure. In CD, vedolizumab is moderately effective as an induction therapy and demonstrates efficacy as a maintenance agent. Secondary analyses indicate that prolonged induction therapy may result in greater efficacy, particularly in TNF antagonist-exposed patients. Comparative efficacy studies and network meta-analyses show similar efficacy to other biologic therapies. OLE studies in UC and CD demonstrate the durability of maintenance efficacy and low serious adverse event (SAE) rates. In an integrated safety analysis of controlled data, there was no significant difference in adverse event, SAE, infection and serious infection rates between vedolizumab and placebo. No drug-specific safety signals were identified. Immunogenicity rates were low and no cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy directly attributable to vedolizumab are reported in the literature. Vedolizumab is effective for induction and maintenance of inflammatory bowel disease with low treatment-related risks. Given the high therapeutic index of this gut-specific agent, it can be used as either a first- or second-line biologic therapy for UC and CD.


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