The current biological drug regimen for Crohn’s disease, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is limited due to the fact that over 30% of patients are resistant to what is known as ‘tumour necrosis factor(TNF)’. Consequently, drugs such as Remicade, Humira and Cimzia which are known as TNF Inhibitors simply do not work.
It therefore looks as though there is potentially good news for TNF Inhibitor resistant patients with the advent of a new monoclonal antibody drug, called usteketinab, which will be marketed under the trade name Stelara. According to latest clinical trials, in patients with moderate to severe disease placed on ustekinumab there was an increased clinical response and remission as early as six weeks following treatment. The authors of the report, to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine, say that this is a significant first step towards a new treatment option for these patients.
It is still early days and more clinical trials and safety tests need to be conducted before this new drug can be made widely available.
The study was funded by Janssen Research & Development.