OSAKA, Japan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) (“Takeda”) today announced results from the Phase 3b head-to-head VARSITY study which demonstrated that the gut-selective biologic vedolizumab (Entyvio®) was superior to the anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) biologic adalimumab (Humira®) in achieving clinical remission* in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis at week 52. Data showed that 31.3% (n=120/383) of patients receiving vedolizumab intravenous (IV) achieved the primary endpoint of clinical remission compared to 22.5% (n=87/386) of patients treated with adalimumab subcutaneous (SC) at week 52, with the difference being statistically significant (p=0.0061). These results were announced as an oral presentation (OP34) on Saturday March 9, 2019 from 09:40-09:50, at the 14th Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) in Copenhagen, Denmark.1
Furthermore, treatment with vedolizumab was associated with significantly higher rates of mucosal healing** at week 52, with 39.7% of patients receiving vedolizumab achieving mucosal healing compared to 27.7% treated with adalimumab (p=0.0005). A non-statistically significant difference in favor of adalimumab was seen in the percentage of patients using oral corticosteroids at baseline who discontinued corticosteroids and were in clinical remission*** at week 52. While the study was not powered to compare the safety of the two biologics, patients treated with vedolizumab (62.7%) had a lower rate of overall adverse events over 52 weeks than patients treated with adalimumab (69.2%), with a lower rate of infections reported in patients treated with vedolizumab (33.5%) as compared to adalimumab (43.5%). The rate of serious adverse events was also lower in vedolizumab-treated patients than adalimumab (11.0% vs. 13.7% respectively).1
“The VARSITY study addresses critical questions concerning the selection of biologic therapy in ulcerative colitis,” said Dr. Bruce E. Sands, primary investigator of the VARSITY study and Chief of the Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “The goal of treatment in ulcerative colitis is to achieve clinical remission and mucosal healing, and these results clearly highlight the benefits seen with vedolizumab versus adalimumab on these important outcomes. The results also showed lower rates of overall and serious adverse events including infections in patients treated with vedolizumab than adalimumab.”
“As the first clinical study to directly compare the efficacy and safety of two commonly used biologic therapies in patients with ulcerative colitis, VARSITY provides invaluable knowledge to help inform physicians’ treatment decisions when initiating biologic therapy,” said Jeff Bornstein, M.D., Executive Medical Director, Takeda. “This is also the first time we have seen a direct comparison between two medicines with distinct modes of action in ulcerative colitis, the gut-selective anti-alpha4beta7 integrin vedolizumab and the anti-TNFα adalimumab. This is an exciting time in the landscape of ulcerative colitis treatment, as head-to-head clinical data has not previously been available to guide treatment decisions around biologic therapies.”
VARSITY is a phase 3b, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, multi-center, active-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of vedolizumab IV compared to adalimumab SC at week 52 in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. The study randomized 769 patients (vedolizumab n=383 or adalimumab n=386), all of whom had inadequate response with, loss of response to, or intolerance to corticosteroids, immunomodulators, or one TNFα-antagonist other than adalimumab prior to being enrolled. Patients were randomized into one of two treatment groups, vedolizumab IV and placebo SC or adalimumab SC and placebo IV. Patients in the vedolizumab group were administered vedolizumab IV 300 mg at weeks 0, 2, 6 and every 8 weeks thereafter until week 46, along with placebo SC at week 0 and every 2 weeks until week 50. The adalimumab group were administered adalimumab SC 160 mg at week 0, 80 mg at week 2 and 40 mg every 2 weeks until week 50, along with placebo IV at weeks 0, 2, 6 and every 8 weeks thereafter until week 46. Dose escalation was not permitted in either treatment arm during the study.1,2
|* Primary endpoint: Clinical remission is defined as a complete Mayo score of ≤2 points and no individual subscore ˃1 point.2|
|** Secondary endpoint: Mucosal healing is defined as Mayo endoscopic subscore of ≤1 point. Mayo score: instrument designed to measure disease activity of ulcerative colitis.2|
|*** Secondary endpoint: Corticosteroid-free clinical remission is defined as patients using oral corticosteroids at baseline (week 0) who have discontinued oral corticosteroids and are in clinical remission at week 52.2|
About Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is one of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).3 UC is a chronic, relapsing, remitting, inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that is often progressive in nature, and involves the innermost lining of the large intestine.4,5 UC commonly presents with symptoms of abdominal discomfort and loose bowel movements, including blood or pus.5,6 The cause of UC is not fully understood; however, recent research suggests hereditary, genetics, environmental factors, and/or an abnormal immune response to microbial antigens in genetically predisposed individuals can lead to the condition.5,7,8
About Entyvio® (vedolizumab)
Vedolizumab is a gut-selective biologic and is approved as an intravenous (IV) formulation.9 It is a humanized monoclonal antibody designed to specifically antagonize the alpha4beta7 integrin, inhibiting the binding of alpha4beta7 integrin to intestinal mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1), but not vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1).10 MAdCAM-1 is preferentially expressed on blood vessels and lymph nodes of the gastrointestinal tract.11 The alpha4beta7 integrin is expressed on a subset of circulating white blood cells.10These cells have been shown to play a role in mediating the inflammatory process in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).10,12,13 By inhibiting alpha4beta7 integrin, vedolizumab may limit the ability of certain white blood cells to infiltrate gut tissues.10
Vedolizumab IV is approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active UC and CD, who have had an inadequate response with, lost response to, or were intolerant to either conventional therapy or a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) antagonist.9 Vedolizumab IV has been granted marketing authorization in over 60 countries, including the United States and European Union, with more than 260,000 patient years of exposure to date.14
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI), Neuroscience, and Rare Diseases. We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries and regions.
For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com
1 Schreiber S, Peyrin-Biroulet L, Loftus EV Jr, et al. VARSITY: A double-blind, double-dummy, randomised, controlled trial of vedolizumab versus adalimumab in patients with active ulcerative colitis. Presented at the 14thCongress of the Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), Copenhagen, Denmark. Oral presentation #OP34 (Saturday March 9, 2019, 09:40-09:50).
2 An efficacy and safety study of vedolizumab intravenous (IV) compared to adalimumab subcutaneous (SC) in participants with ulcerative colitis. ClinicalTrials.gov. Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02497469. Last updated: February 28, 2019. Last Accessed: February 2019.
3 Baumgart DC, Carding SR. Inflammatory bowel disease: cause and immunobiology. Lancet. 2007;369:1627-1640.
4 Torres J, Billioud V, Sachar DB, et al. Ulcerative colitis as a progressive disease: the forgotten evidence. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2012;18:1356-1363.
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6 Sands BE. From symptom to diagnosis: clinical distinctions among various forms of intestinal inflammation. Gastroenterology. 2004;126:1518-1532.
7 Henckaerts L, Pierik M, Joossens M, et al. Mutations in pattern recognition receptor genes modulate seroreactivity to microbial antigens in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Gut. 2007;56:1536-1542.
8 Kaser A, Zeissig S, Blumberg RS. Genes and environment: How will our concepts on the pathophysiology of IBD develop in the future? Dig Dis. 2010;28:395-405.
9 European Medicines Agency. Entyvio EPAR product information. EMEA/H/C/002782 – IB/0030 ANNEX 1 Summary of Product Characteristics. Available at: https://www.ema.europa.eu/documents/product-information/entyvio-epar-product-information_en.pdf Last updated: September 3, 2018. Last accessed: February 2019.
10 Soler D, Chapman T, Yang LL, et al. The binding specificity and selective antagonism of vedolizumab, an anti-α4β7 integrin therapeutic antibody in development for inflammatory bowel diseases. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009;330:864-875.
11 Briskin M, Winsor-Hines D, Shyjan A, et al. Human mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule-1 is preferentially expressed in intestinal tract and associated lymphoid tissue. Am J Pathol. 1997;151:97-110.
12 Eksteen B, Liaskou E, Adams DH. Lymphocyte homing and its roles in the pathogenesis of IBD. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008;14:1298-1312.
13 Wyant T, Fedyk E, Abhyankar B. An overview of the mechanism of action of the monoclonal antibody vedolizumab. J Crohns Colitis. 2016;10:1437-1444.
14 Takeda Data on File. 2019.
March 09, 2019