Vedolizumab, a recent addition to the therapeutic armamentarium in Crohn's disease, is promising in efficacy, durability of remission and safety. It is the first gut selective biologic treatment, acting by targeting α4β7-integrin, a receptor expressed on activated lymphocytes and binding to MAdCAM1, a cell adhesion molecule selectively expressed in the circulatory system of the digestive tract, preventing trafficking of lymphocytes to the gut. The pivotal GEMINI studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of vedolizumab in achieving clinical response and clinical remission in patients with moderately to severely active CD who are naïve or have previously failed therapy with TNF-antagonists, immunomodulators or dependent on steroids. Vedolizumab had a favorable safety profile and specifically showed no evidence of PML, reactivation of latent TB or hepatitis B. Overall, the number of malignancies in the clinical trials was small; however, long-term exposure was limited. Vedolizumab can be given as a first-line therapy or following treatment failure, and was tolerated as part of combination therapy. More medications with similar and novel therapeutic mechanisms are anticipated in the coming years.
Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Entyvio; inflammatory bowel disease; integrin; vedolizumab.