A Pharmacological Batch of Mongersen that Downregulates Smad7 is Effective as Induction Therapy in Active Crohn’s Disease: A Phase II, Open-Label Study

Irene Marafini, Carmine Stolfi, Edoardo Troncone, Elisabetta Lolli, Sara Onali, Omero Alessandro Paoluzi, Massimo C. Fantini, Livia Biancone, Emma Calabrese, Antonio Di Grazia, Ivan Monteleone, Marco Vincenzo Lenti, Antonio Di Sabatino, Giovanni Monteleone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A recent phase III trial did not confirm the previous clinical and endoscopic improvements seen in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) receiving Mongersen, an oral Smad7 antisense oligonucleotide. Factors accounting for such a discrepancy are unknown. Objective: Our objective was to further assess whether Mongersen was effective as induction therapy in active CD and evaluate the in vitro inhibitory effect of various batches of Mongersen used in the previous and present trials on Smad7 expression. Methods: In a phase II, open-label study, 18 patients with active CD (Crohn’s Disease Activity Index [CDAI] score > 220 and evidence of endoscopic lesions) received Mongersen 160 mg/day for 12 weeks. The rates of clinical remission, defined as CDAI < 150, and clinical response, defined as a CDAI score decrease ≥ 100, were evaluated at week 4, 8, and 12. The fraction of circulating CCR9-expressing leukocytes was assessed by flow cytometry. Smad7 expression was evaluated in the human colorectal cancer cell line HCT-116 transfected with different batches of Mongersen using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting, Results: The proportions of patients experiencing clinical remission were 38.9%, 55.6%, and 50.0% at week 4, 8, and 12, respectively. At the same time points, the rates of clinical response were 72.2%, 77.8%, and 77.8%, respectively. Mongersen reduced the percentages of CCR9-expressing CD45+ cells. The batch of Mongersen used in this study, but not two batches used in the phase III study, inhibited Smad7 expression in HCT-116 cells. Conclusions: The present findings support the clinical benefit of Mongersen in active CD and show that various batches manufactured during the GED0301 program differ in their ability to inhibit in vitro Smad7. Trial Registration Number: NCT02685683; EudraCT 2015-001693-18

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalBioDrugs
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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