In December 2013, two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees voted in favor of recommending vedolizumab for treatment of both types of inflammatory bowel disease.
A theoretical concern about vedolizumab is the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a potentially fatal brain infection associated with vedolizumab's parent molecule, natalizumab (Tysabri), which is approved for use in both multiple sclerosis and CD.
Edward V. Loftus Jr., M.D., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, points out that natalizumab affects adhesion molecules at the level of the blood-brain barrier system as well as in the gut. "The goal has always been to develop more gut-specific targets," he says.
Read more about vedolizumab in the Digestive Diseases update.
To learn more about IBD, visit mayoclinic.org/ibd.