Biologics 2016 9;10:33-52. Epub 2016 Mar 9.
Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses a cluster of different disease phenotypes which are broadly classified into ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Disease pathogenesis is driven by abnormal host immune responses to their resident gut microbiome in genetically susceptible individuals. Clinical disease features and outcomes are heterogenous and not unexpected as over 163 genetic loci are associated with disease susceptibility, and there are great variability in environmental exposures. Despite this variability, there has been relatively few efficacious therapies for particularly moderate-to-severe IBD. Treatment has been dominated by antitumor necrosis alpha agents with significant success but equally potentially serious adverse events. Therapeutic targeting of leucocyte trafficking has emerged as a viable alternative therapy, with vedolizumab being the lead compound. This review focuses primarily on its biological function as a selective gut immunotherapy, its safety and efficacy, and its emerging role as a mainstream therapy in managing IBD.