Ulcerative colitis, a promising new treatment?

2024-02-25 05:00:57

Ulcerative colitis belongs, along with Crohn’s disease, to chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. This pathology is particularly debilitating and profoundly harms the quality of life of patients, sometimes affected from adolescence. During the 19th congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO), which was held in Stockholm from February 21 to 24, 2024, promising results were presented on a drug candidate, obefazimod. Explanations.

What are the current treatments for ulcerative colitis?

Currently no treatment provides a definitive cure. chronic inflammatory diseases (IBD), as the Crohn’s disease et ulcerative colitis. Different medications are used to treat flare-ups of the disease (symptomatic phases) and prevent new flare-ups. These treatments include:

Derivatives of aminosalicylic acid or aminosalicylates; Corticosteroids; Azathioprine; Biotherapies.

Biotherapies are the most recent treatments. These are antibodies specifically developed to act on immune and inflammatory reactions, in order to reduce chronic inflammation linked to the disease. The antibodies available to date are:

Infliximab; Adalimumab; Golimumab; Vedolizumab; Ustekinumab; Tofacitinib.

For some patients, surgical treatment is also necessary.

Read also – May 19, World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day

A new drug candidate

The mechanisms behind ulcerative colitis remain poorly understood, even if scientists put forward several factors:

A genetic predisposition; An imbalance between the intestinal immune system and the intestinal microbiota; Exposure to environmental factors.

To develop new treatments against the disease, researchers are trying to target immune and inflammatory reactions. Among the most promising drug candidates is l’obefazimod. Interesting results have recently been presented in the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Obefazimod is a medicine administered orally dailythe subject of several clinical trials carried out in humans since 2022, in ulcerative colitis and soon in .

Read also – Vaccinate against Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis?!

Promising efficacy and tolerance in clinical trials

The latest clinical trials conducted on this drug are showing great promise. Obefazimod has a unique mechanism of action (improvement of the expression of a small RNA, microRNA-124) and exercises anti-inflammatory activity, which helps stabilize the immune response in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. One of the trials concluded that the drug was effective and well tolerated after 8 weeks of treatment. The continuation of this treatment showed persistence of effectiveness and safety after 48 and 96 weeks of treatment.

A reduction in the dose administered (from 50 to 25 mg per day) was then evaluated on a group of patients. Once again, the data appears promising regarding the effectiveness and tolerance of this drug candidate. Building on these results, the pharmaceutical laboratory should continue the development of obefazimod, which could soon become a new treatment for ulcerative colitis. Hope for the approximately 200 patients living in France with chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Read also – Intestinal flora transplant for ulcerative colitis

Estelle B., Doctor of Pharmacy


– Efficacy and safety of obefazimod in UC patients at weeks 48 and 96 of an open-label maintenance study among clinical responders at week 8 of the Phase 2b induction trial. 19th Congress of ECCO – Stockholm.cm.ecco-ibd.eu. Consulté le 19 février 2024.
– Efficacy of once-daily, orally administered obefazimod in patients with moderately to severely active UC at weeks 8, 48, and 96 broken down by induction treatment dose. cm.ecco-ibd.eu. Consulté le 19 février 2024.
– Obefazimod and its active metabolites ABX-464-N-Glu act by stabilizing protein-protein interaction among key RNA biogenesis partners, CBC and ARS2. cm.ecco-ibd.eu. Consulté le 19 février 2024.
– Efficacy and safety of de-escalation from 50 mg to 25 mg of oral, once-daily, obefazimod for the third and fifth year of open-label maintenance treatment in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC): An interim analysis. cm.ecco-ibd.eu. Consulté le 19 février 2024.
– Ulcerative colitis. www.ameli.fr. Accessed February 19, 2024.
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