Jan Wehkamp, MD, PhD: The Promise of Biologics for IBD

March 25, 2022
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.

The advent of biologics has transformed care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

The growth of biologics has been a boom for treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), whether it is ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Medications like adalimumab, infliximab, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab have really transformed care for this patient population in recent years, while also showing promise as treatments for other autoimmune diseases, particularly in rheumatology.

It might be impossible to overstate the importance of this class of drugs and the progress that has been made in recent years developing new high efficacy biologics.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Jan Wehkamp, MD, PhD, Vice President, Gastroenterology Disease Area Leader at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, discussed how crucial biologics have been in treating patients with IBD.

Wehkamp, who was involved in the development and management of ustekinumab, said the future is bright in this space and every day investigators are making progress towards developing even better biologic medications.

“We are getting more ambitious with every drug that we develop,” Wehkamp said. “We always have to be better than what is already out there or otherwise we would not get the approval for all the resources.”

Wehkamp said 1 of the priorities moving forward will be to build on the success of ustekinumab.