Entyvio represents a relatively new class of medications for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It's a biologic drug containing an antibody against the molecule alpha 4 beta 7. This is a targeted biologic for blood vessels in the gut to block white cells from leaving the blood vessels therefore causing less inflammation. This has been studied in a large population of patents with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
In the phase three studies of this drug, most of the primary end points were met. This includes remission response and steroid-free remission. It was seen during the studies that Entyvio may have a more favorable safety profile than some of the anti-TNF molecules.
There were some concerns that a parent molecule could cause a neurologic condition called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The rare side effect that occurs with the parent molecule does not occur with this molecule.
This drug is given as an IV infusion, like Infliximab, so it is necessary to go to a hospital or infusion center to receive it. It takes about 30 - 60 minutes to infuse. The first three doses are close together at 0, 2, and 6 weeks and then it is given every 8 weeks. This will be another nice option to have for patients who haven't responded to other drug therapies.
For more information on IBD, visit mayoclinic.org/ibd.
Dr. Loftus is a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic.