Etrolizumab as induction therapy for ulcerative colitis: a randomised, controlled, phase 2 trial

Lancet. 2014 Jul 26;384(9940):309-18. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60661-9. Epub 2014 May 9.


Background: Etrolizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody that selectively binds the β7 subunit of the heterodimeric integrins α4β7 and αEβ7. We aimed to assess etrolizumab in patients with moderately-to-severely active ulcerative colitis.

Methods: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, phase 2 study, patients with moderately-to-severely active ulcerative colitis who had not responded to conventional therapy were recruited from 40 referral centres in 11 countries. Eligible patients (aged 18-75 years; Mayo Clinic Score [MCS] of 5 of higher [or ≥6 in USA]; and disease extending 25 cm or more from anal verge) were randomised (1:1:1) to one of two dose levels of subcutaneous etrolizumab (100 mg at weeks 0, 4, and 8, with placebo at week 2; or 420 mg loading dose [LD] at week 0 followed by 300 mg at weeks 2, 4, and 8), or matching placebo. The primary endpoint was clinical remission at week 10, defined as MCS of 2 or less (with no individual subscore of >1), analysed in the modified intention-to-treat population (mITT; all randomly assigned patients who had received at least one dose of study drug, had at least one post-baseline disease-activity assessment, and had a centrally read screening endoscopic subscore of ≥2). This study is registered with, number NCT01336465.

Findings: Between Sept 2, 2011, and July 11, 2012, 124 patients were randomly assigned, of whom five had a endoscopic subscore of 0 or 1 and were excluded from the mITT population, leaving 39 patients in the etrolizumab 100 mg group, 39 in the etrolizumab 300 mg plus LD group, and 41 in the placebo group for the primary analyses. No patients in the placebo group had clinical remission at week 10, compared with eight (21% [95% CI 7-36]) patients in the etrolizumab 100 mg group (p=0·0040) and four (10% [0·2-24]) patients in the 300 mg plus LD group (p=0·048). Adverse events occurred in 25 (61%) of 41 patients in the etrolizumab 100 mg group (five [12%] of which were regarded as serious), 19 (48%) of 40 patients in the etrolizumab 300 mg plus LD group (two [5%] serious), and 31 (72%) of 43 patients in the placebo group (five [12%] serious).

Interpretation: Etrolizumab was more likely to lead to clinical remission at week 10 than was placebo. Therefore, blockade of both α4β7 and αEβ7 might provide a unique therapeutic approach for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, and phase 3 studies have been planned.

Funding: Genentech.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Remission Induction / methods
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • etrolizumab

Associated data