Immunogenicity of biologics used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Hum Antibodies. 2021;29(4):225-235. doi: 10.3233/HAB-210449.


Purpose of the review: Here we critically evaluate the literature on immunotherapy failure in inflammatory bowel disease patients. In particular anti-drug antibody production, and subsequently loss of response as the primary cause of immunotherapy failure in IBD patients. The benefits of shifting from the "standard" empirical dose escalation approach to therapeutic drug monitoring with anti-TNFα therapy is explored.

Recent findings: The American Gastroenterology Association and British Society of Gastroenterology both currently recommend the use of reactive therapeutic drug monitoring to guide treatment, following loss of response in inflammatory bowel disease patients with active disease. However, further research is required to prove the efficacy of a proactive therapeutic drug monitoring approach alone in remitted IBD patients.

Summary: A combination of personalised monitoring approach for anti-drug antibodies and therapeutic drug monitoring could provide beneficial treatment outcome for people with inflammatory bowel disease by predicting drug failure prior to clinical symptoms and allowing timely switching to an alternative drug.

Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease; anti-drug antibodies; biologic disease modifying therapies; immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • United States


  • Biological Products
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha