Evolving primary and secondary endpoints in randomized controlled trials leading to approval of biologics and small molecules in IBD: an historical perspective

Patrick B Allen, Stefanos Bonovas, Silvio Danese, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Therapeutic goals in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have evolved, over the last decades, from clinical response to complete remission (clinical and endoscopic remission).Areas covered: Development of biologics and small molecules has been associated with the development of new endpoints in IBD trials that could not have been achieved in the pre-biologics era. Herein, we focus on evolving endpoints for approved biologics and small molecules. We searched for relevant publications using Medline/PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library from their inception to 1 July 2019.Expert opinion: Endpoints differ between induction (clinical and endoscopic response) and maintenance trials (clinical and endoscopic remission) because the goal is to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of a given drug during induction, whereas full disease control is the ultimate goal during the maintenance phase in order to change patients' life and disease course. Histological healing has recently emerged as a new co-primary endpoint in ulcerative colitis, and is now part of the definition of mucosal healing in these trials. Whether new endpoints such as transmural and radiologic healing could become an endpoint and replace endoscopy in Crohn's disease trials in the near future requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


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