Background & aims: Tumor necrosis factor blockade has been shown to be an effective treatment strategy in Crohn's disease (CD). Adalimumab is a human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG(1)) monoclonal antibody targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial was performed to evaluate the efficacy of adalimumab induction therapy in patients with CD.
Methods: A total of 299 patients with moderate to severe CD naive to anti-TNF therapy were randomized to receive subcutaneous injections at weeks 0 and 2 with adalimumab 40 mg/20 mg, 80 mg/40 mg, or 160 mg/80 mg or placebo. The primary endpoint was demonstration of a significant difference in the rates of remission at week 4 (defined as a Crohn's Disease Activity Index score <150 points) among the 80 mg/40 mg, 160 mg/80 mg, and placebo groups.
Results: The rates of remission at week 4 in the adalimumab 40 mg/20 mg, 80 mg/40 mg, and 160 mg/80 mg groups were 18% (P = .36), 24% (P = .06), and 36% (P = .001), respectively, and 12% in the placebo group. Adverse events occurred at similar frequencies in all 4 treatment groups except injection site reactions, which were more common in adalimumab-treated patients.
Conclusions: Adalimumab was superior to placebo for induction of remission in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease naive to anti-TNF therapy. The optimal induction dosing regimen for adalimumab in this study was 160 mg at week 0 followed by 80 mg at week 2. Adalimumab was well tolerated.