Takeda has unveiled further data from the VARSITY study showing the superiority of the gut-selective biologic Entyvio (vedolizumab) to the anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) biologic Humira (adalimumab) in achieving clinical remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC).

Results of the trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), show clinical remission rates in patients with moderately to severely active UC of 31.3% for Entyvio and 22.5% for Humira after 52 weeks' treatment.

Entyvio achieved higher percentages of clinical remission at week 52 compared to Humira in both anti-TNFα-naïve patients (34.2% versus 24.3%, respectively) and anti-TNFα-experienced patients with UC (20.3% versus 16.0%, respectively).

Also, in the secondary endpoints of the study, treatment with Entyvio was linked with significantly higher percentages of mucosal healing at week 52 compared to patients treated with Humira (39.7% versus. 27.7%). However, Takeda's drug was not found to be superior to in the percentage of patients using oral corticosteroids at baseline who discontinued corticosteroids and were in clinical remission at week 52 (12.6% versus 21.8%).

“In a chronic, debilitating condition like ulcerative colitis, it is essential that patients gain relief from the many different aspects of the disease,” said Dr Bruce Sands, primary investigator of the VARSITY study and chief of the Dr Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

“The VARSITY results provide physicians with valuable insights to support their treatment decisions when initiating biologic therapy in patients with ulcerative colitis.”