The Effectiveness of Biologics in Preventing Penetrating Complications in Patients With CD


A study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2023 compared the effectiveness of different approaches to prevent complications in individuals with the common disease.

Nearly 1 in 100 Americans are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.1 Recent data from Digestive Disease Week compared the effects of different biologics on patients’ CD, attempting to determine the effectiveness in preventing complications of the disease.

The researchers evaluated 40,693 patients with CD who were given biologic therapy. “While recent studies have focused on clinical remission, few studies have assessed the comparative efficacy of biologics in preventing penetrating disease (PD) complications of CD,” the researchers explained.

The analysis used the IBM Market Scan Commercial Database and included adults with CD with 2 or more consecutive years of health insurance enrollment during the study period (2006-2020). In the retrospective study, 93% of participants were using anti–tumor necrosis (TNF), 3% were givenustekinumab(UST), and 4% were given vedolizumab(VDZ.)

Penetrating complications developed in 21% of patients, 5% being pre-existing luminal PD (LPD) and 18% being perianal PD (PPD). The anti-TNF group was more protected against composite PD than the VDZ group. The anti-TNF group was also more protected from LPD compared with the UST group.

Between the UST and VDZ patients, the risks of composite PD, LPD, and PPD were mostly the same. 

There was no significant change noted in protection from PPD between any of the groups. “Anti-TNF therapy was protective against developing LPD but not PPD and may offer an advantage over VDZ and UST in preventing this disease complication,” the researchers concluded. They also mentioned that further studies will be necessary to validate the findings they made in this study.

1. Mccurdy J. Stwalley D. Olsen M. et al. Comparative effectiveness of biologics in preventing penetrating complications in crohn’s disease. Presented at Digestive Disease Week; May 6-9, 2023; Chicago, Illinois. Abstract 1716.
2. Overview of Crohn's Disease. Chron’s & Colitis Foundation. Accessed May 15, 2023.,ages%20of%2020%20and%2030
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