Hope For Crohn’s Patients With Fistulas Found In HUMIRA/Adalimumab

At the recent European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO) annual
meeting in Lyon, France, Abbott Laboratories announced that HUMIRA
(Adalimumab) is successful in the treatment of fistulas in susceptible
Crohn’s patients.

Crohn’s
Disease (CD) is a gastrointestinal disorder which is indicated by
chronic
inflammation of the wall of the digestive tract. The disease involves
constant cycles of flare-ups and
remission throughout the life of the patient, and without proper
treatment, must be addressed surgically. It is considered an
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), similar to ulcerative colitis. Up to
43% of Crohn’s disease patients develop painful and embarrassing
fistulas, which are tunnels that connect affected organs to surrounding
tissues such as the bladder, vagina, or skin. These are difficult to
treat, can cause fecal discharge in abnormal locations, and can thus
lead to incontinence, infections, and complications that will
necessitate surgery.

HUMIRA, or Adalimumab works by binding Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α),
an important part of the immune response pathway — in this way it is
related to infliximab and other TNF-α blockers. It has been
approved in several countries for treatment of many autoimmune diseases
including CD, psoriasis, and certain types of arthritis. Abbott Labs is
also studying HUMIRA in pediatric CD.

The fistula study was based on data taken in the CHARM study. In a
subanalysis, it was shown that fistula healing was improved with
treatment with HUMIRA:

60% of patients experienced fistula healing at one year of
treatment
76% of patients who experienced healing at one year
sustained the healing through two years
71% of patients demonstrated a 50% reduction in the number
of draining fistulas after two years of treatment

Over a two year term, fistula patients had a higher quality of life
because the CD was in remission, defined as scoring greater than 170
points on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ):
after 1 year, 54% of patients and after 2 years, 60% of patients
achieved this score.

Sustainability of Adalimumab in Improving the Quality of Life
of Patients With Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease: 2-Year Data From CHARM

E. V. Loftus, Jr., J. F. Colombel, R. Panaccione, B. G. Feagan, M. A.
Kamm, P. F. Pollack, J. Chao, P. Mulani
For More Information, see http://www.humira.com/

Written by Anna Sophia McKenney

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