Janssen’s pathway strategy for immune-mediated inflammatory disease shows promise in gastroenterology

Tens of millions of Americans have immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), including conditions as diverse as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Because such diseases have an inflammatory component, a single biologic could treat multiple IMIDs. “We are committed to investigating inflammatory pathways to develop therapies that can potentially address the immense unmet need for patients living with immune-mediated diseases,” said Dr. Jan Wehkamp, Janssen’s vice president, gastroenterology disease area leader.

And thus, a drug like Janssen’s Tremfya (guselkumab), which is now indicated to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in adults, could find use in gastroenterological conditions such as Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC).

Tremfya selectively blocks the p19 subunit of interleukin (IL)-23.

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Stelara shows promise for long-term management of ulcerative colitis

Janssen’s (NYSE:JNJ) Stelara supported corticosteroid-free remission in about half of ulcerative colitis patients in a 152-week long-term extension UNIFI study.

At the end of the nearly three-year study, 55.2% of volunteers were in symptomatic remission. Of those patients, 96.4% were corticosteroid-free at week 152. Janssen, which is part of Johnson & Johnson, presented the data today at the Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO).

Stelara (ustekinumab) enabled more than half of the patients in the trial to achieve remission without the need for steroids. That fact is one of the most critical findings in the recent data, said Dr. Jan Wehkamp, VP and gastroenterology disease area leader at Janssen.

While the human body naturally produces steroids, long-term use of corticosteroids leads to significant side effects in most people. They can lead to everything from high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, glaucoma and other prob…

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