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Vol. 30, Suppl. 3, 2012
Issue release date: January 2013
Dig Dis 2012;30(suppl 3):140–144

The Future of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Therapy: Where Do We Go from Here?

Sandborn W.J.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Division of Gastroenterology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, Calif., USA

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There are six important trends that will impact the future of inflammatory bowel disease therapy. (1) Increased use of the biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and fecal calprotectin, and increased imaging with colonoscopy and MRI enterography. (2) Increased use of pharmacokinetics to customize drug dosing for individual patients. Multiple factors impact the pharmacokinetics of monoclonal antibodies including the presence of antidrug antibodies, concomitant immunosuppression and low serum albumin and high CRP concentrations. (3) Evolution of treatment end points from symptoms to deep remission (a combination of both clinical remission and mucosal healing) to the prevention of bowel damage (in Crohn’s disease) and surgery in the short-to-intermediate term and prevention of disability in the longer term. (4) Evolving data demonstrate that azathioprine monotherapy is minimally effective as a disease modification agent in Crohn’s disease. Use of azathioprine as a monotherapy will decline. (5) Combination therapy with azathioprine and infliximab is superior to monotherapy with either agent. Use of combination therapy will increase. (6) There is a rich pipeline of novel therapeutic agents. Treatment strategies that appear particularly appealing include selective anti-integrin therapy with vedolizumab (anti-α4β7), etrolizumab (anti-β7 antibody) and PF-00547,659 (anti-MAdCAM-1 antibody), anti-interleukin 12/23p40 therapy with ustekinumab and Janus kinase 1, 2 and 3 inhibition with toafacitinib.

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