Anti-Adhesion Molecule Strategies for Crohn Disease
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The last few years have been highlighted by further knowledge and optimism regarding the use of biologic therapy in Crohn disease. The introduction of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy into clinical practice in the form of the murine chimeric monoclonal antibody infliximab, and more recently the fully human monoclonal antibody adalimumab, has significantly advanced treatment for Crohn disease. Despite the introduction of the anti-TNF agents, 20–40% of patients will fail to respond to initial induction therapy, and of the initial responders only 60–70% will have a sustained response at 1 year. Therefore, there remains a significant unmet need in the treatment of patients with Crohn disease. A novel approach in suppressing inflammation is to intervene in the mechanisms responsible for the migration of leukocytes into inflamed tissue. One such method is by selective adhesion molecule inhibition. Several agents based on this strategy have been evaluated in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. It is expected that these agents will offer an alternative to the anti-TNF agent class in patients with moderate to severe Crohn disease.