Doctors have reported the results of a novel targeted therapy that may represent a new treatment option for individuals with Crohn’s disease. Risankizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the p19 subunit of interleukin-23, and is being developed for Crohn's disease. Other IL-23 inhibitors are currently under study for inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively called inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD) result from a hyperactive immune system that attacks the gastrointestinal system. The immune system’s attack leads to inflammation of the intestines causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and other symptoms. Immunotherapies for IBD aim to suppress the excessive, inappropriate immune response that is causing the inflammation.
This multinational clinical study enrolled 213 adults with active Crohn's disease who were treated with two different doses of risankizumab or placebo and directly compared. Overall risankizumab treated patients were twice as likely to achieve a clinical remission than placebo and the higher dose was more effective than the lower dose. The therapy was well tolerated and the most common side effect was nausea.
The authors concluded that selective blockade of interleukin-23 via inhibition of p19 might appears to represent a new and viable therapeutic approach in Crohn's disease. Additional studies are ongoing in Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory conditions.