Adalimumab as Treatment for Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis

April 28, 2021
Jonathan Alicea

Marla Dubinsky, MD, discusses what adding adalimumab to the pediatric ulcerative colitis toolbox means for treatment strategies.

Earlier this year, adalimumab (Humira) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in patients ≥5 years of age.

The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor was shown to lead to clinical remission in patients at various dosing levels. Even more, the drug was considered to be safe and well-tolerated in the patient population.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Marla Dubinsky, MD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai discussed the implications of this approval for pediatric treatment strategies.

“Options are always good. It’s not one size fits all,” she said, noting the drug’s similarity to infliximab (Remicade), another biologic that was approved for pediatric ulcerative colitis in 2011. Infliximab likewise targets TNF.

However, Dubinsky explained that such patients who have used infliximab but have failed to respond to treatment now have an option in adalimumab. And yet, this switch can happen both ways.

“It’s not that it’s linear in one direction or another,” she said. “However, I think what this shows is that if we can get more patients access to early effective therapies­—whether it is infliximab or adalimumab—then that is the key message.”

As such, children with ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel conditions can look at adalimumab’s approval as a promising sign that more, effective therapies may become available for them some day.


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