BACKGROUND & AIMS: Maintenance treatment with vedolizumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the gut-selective α4β7 integrin, is administered intravenously. Some patients might prefer a subcutaneous formulation of vedolizumab for maintenance treatment. Subcutaneous vedolizumab was investigated as maintenance treatment in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.
METHODS: We performed a phase 3, double-blind, double-dummy trial at 141 sites in 29 countries from December 18, 2015 through August 21, 2018. Patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis received open-label treatment with intravenous vedolizumab 300 mg at weeks 0 and 2. At week 6, patients with clinical response were randomly assigned maintenance treatment with subcutaneous vedolizumab 108 mg every 2 weeks, intravenous vedolizumab 300 mg every 8 weeks, or placebo. The primary end point was clinical remission at week 52, which was defined as a total Mayo score of ≤2 and no subscore >1.
RESULTS: Among the randomized 216 patients, clinical remission at week 52 was achieved by 46.2%, 42.6%, and 14.3% of patients in the subcutaneous vedolizumab, intravenous vedolizumab, and placebo groups, respectively (subcutaneous vedolizumab vs placebo: Δ32.3%; 95% confidence interval, 19.7%-45.0%; P < .001). The subcutaneous vedolizumab group also had greater endoscopic improvement and durable clinical response at week 52 compared with placebo (both P < .001). The incidence of injection-site reactions was more frequent in patients given subcutaneous vedolizumab (10.4%) than intravenous vedolizumab (1.9%) or placebo (0%); these were not treatment limiting, most were mild, and none resulted in discontinuation. Subcutaneous and intravenous vedolizumab safety profiles were otherwise similar.
CONCLUSIONS: Subcutaneous vedolizumab is effective as maintenance therapy in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who had a clinical response to intravenous vedolizumab induction therapy. It has a favorable safety and tolerability profile. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02611830; EudraCT 2015-000480-14.