Florian Rieder, MD: Ozanimod as a Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

May 23, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Infections in patients with ulcerative colitis treated with ozanimod were mostly characterized as non-serious.

A new look at ozanimod shows the treatment does not result in serious infections for patients with ulcerative colitis.

In data presented at the 2021 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) Virtual Meeting, a team led by Florian Rieder, MD, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, The Cleveland Clinic, assessed the link between absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) reduction and incidence of serious or opportunistic infections in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.

The researchers identified adverse events including infections and ALC levels from pooled analysis of multiple ozanimod studies.

Ozanimod was temporarily discontinued if ALC was confirmed as <0.2 x 109/L, and weekly testing was performed until ALC reached >0.5 x 109/L, when reinitiation of study drug was allowed.

Of the 1158 patients treated with ozanimod, there was a mean ALC reduction to 47% of baseline values in ozanimod-treated patients, which were identified at week 5.

Overall, infections in patients with ulcerative colitis treated with ozanimod were mostly characterized by non-serious infections of the upper respiratory tract, with no clear connection between ALC <0.2 x 109/L and the onset of serious or opportunistic infections.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Rieder explained the results and how ozanimod fits in with the current lineup of treatments for ulcerative colitis.