What’s new in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research? Are there any therapies that may help restore the body’s normal immune function and innate capacity to heal? Are there any treatments designed to achieve sustained remission off all medications after a successful treatment course?
Promising results from Qu Biologics, a Vancouver-based biopharmaceutical company developing site specific immunomodulators (SSIs) that aim to ‘reboot’ the body’s innate immune system, suggest that all these things may indeed be possible.
- high response (64.3% SSI vs. 26.9% placebo) and remission rates were seen in anti-TNFα naïve Crohn’s disease patients, with clinical remission rates of 50% after 8 weeks of treatment; symptom improvement continued for the 16-week treatment period of the study; 40% of anti-TNFα treated patients who took SSI treatment for 16 weeks were in remission at that time-point
- for both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the studies identified immune factors (cytokines and growth factors) in the blood of patients that might predict response to SSI therapy
- results demonstrated that specific blood immune markers associated with immune activation and gut mucosal healing increased with SSI treatment and SSI response/remission
- genetic analysis suggests that common IBD-related genotypes have a high likelihood of response to SSIs; this could open the way – for the first time in the field of IBD – for personalized medicine and the application of genetic testing to identify patients highly likely to respond to treatment
- in the ulcerative colitis clinical trial, high clinical and endoscopic response rates were seen after treatment with SSIs
More Clinical Trials
To confirm and expand on these results, Qu Biologics will launch a second phase 2 trial for adults with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. The first stage of this trial began recruitment for Canadian residents in March 2018.
You can learn more about Qu’s IBD clinical research and past investigations on www.quibd.com. Check back often for enrolment and access to their study page and screening questionnaire.
SSI Success Story
In the Inside Tract® issue 191, we published a story about the first individual to receive SSI therapy for Crohn’s disease from Qu Biologics, Tyler Wilson. He suffered with Crohn’s disease for four years, before getting SSI treatment from Qu Biologics in 2010. He went six years without a flare-up, despite not taking any medications after completing one year of SSI therapy. In 2016, Tyler had a severe flare-up, but it was short lived due to his treatment with SSI therapy. He is currently in remission, with no signs of any Crohn’s disease. In fact, his physician has declared him as Crohn’s disease activity free, verified by a colonoscopy. Tyler is very pleased to see that Qu Biologics has progressed to this point and he is looking forward to SSI therapy being available for all who suffer with Crohn’s disease. He is currently enjoying life in remission with his wife Gillian, oldest daughter Evaleigh, and youngest daughter Alaina.