Our filgotinib program in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
IBD includes CD and UC. We observed high activity and a favorable safety profile in a Phase 2 trial with filgotinib in CD, as reported in The Lancet (Vermeire et al) in 2016. The profile we saw with filgotinib in this CD patient trial leads us to believe the product candidate may show activity and tolerability in UC patient trials as well. IBD affects approximately 2 million patients (of which approximately 0.5 million are being treated with biologics) in the United States and Europe, and the market for IBD therapies is approximately $9 billion today, according to GlobalData. Current treatments are dominated by anti-TNF agents, with new biologic products gaining some ground in second line treatment.
CD is an IBD of unknown cause, resulting in chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract with a relapsing and remitting course. Today, only 10% of CD patients achieve prolonged clinical remission. There are currently no highly effective oral therapies approved for CD and, similar to RA, treatment is dominated by injectable, biologic treatments including anti-TNF therapies. Anti-TNF agents have improved the management of CD; however, not all patients respond to these drugs, and secondary loss of response is reported in up to 50% of patients per year in placebo-controlled trials. There continues to be a considerable unmet need with these existing treatments. Dysregulation of the JAK signaling pathway has also been associated with CD, and we believe that filgotinib, with its high selectivity for JAK1, is a highly attractive candidate for the treatment of CD. By inhibiting JAK1 but not JAK2, unwanted effects such as anemia may be prevented. This absence of anemia is of particular importance to IBD patients, who frequently experience fecal blood loss.