Filgotinib in IBD, which includes UC and CD

Filgotinib in inflammation

Current treatments for IBD are dominated by anti-TNF agents, with new biologic agents gaining market share.

We observed high activity and a favorable tolerability profile in a Phase 2 trial with filgotinib in CD, as reported in The Lancet (Vermeire et al. 2016). The profile we saw with filgotinib in this CD patient trial indicates that the product candidate may show activity and tolerability in UC patient trials as well.

Should filgotinib be approved commercially for IBD indications, Galapagos will be lead commercial sales responsible for the UK, Germany and the Benelux countries,  and Gilead will be lead commercial sales responsible for France, Italy and Spain. All other countries will be Gilead's commercial sales responsibility.

Global SELECTION Phase 2b/3 program in UC

UC is an inflammatory bowel disease resulting in ulcerations and inflammation of the colon and rectum. In 2018, nearly 2 million patients were diagnosed with UC in the U.S., EU5 and Japan, and the total market for UC treatments in the acute and maintenance settings was worth $6 billion in the U.S., EU5 and Japan in 2018.1Sources: Decision Resources Group, Global Data, Galapagos Custom Research

Although the introduction of anti-TNF biologics has improved the treatment of some patients, only 33% of patients will achieve long-term remission, and many patients lose their response to treatment over time. The medical need for improved efficacy is high.

Gilead initiated the global SELECTION Phase 2b/3 trial in UC with filgotinib in December 2016. SELECTION investigates efficacy and safety of 100 mg and 200 mg filgotinib once-daily compared to placebo in 1,300 patients with moderately to severely active disease including those with prior antibody therapy failure. Men and women in SELECTION were randomized to receive placebo, 100 mg or 200 mg filgotinib. Due to preclinical findings with filgotinib regarding semen parameters, in the United States, males may receive 200 mg if they failed at least one anti-TNF therapy and vedolizumab, a monoclonal anti-integrin antibody marketed by Takeda. Adjacent to the filgotinib Phase 3 programs, we and Gilead are conducting dedicated male semen analysis studies in CD and UC patients (MANTA) and in RA, PsA, and AS patients (MANTA-RAy).

In May 2018, Gilead and we announced that an independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) conducted a planned interim futility analysis of SELECTION after 350 patients completed the induction period in the Phase 2b portion of the trial. The DMC recommended that the study could proceed into Phase 3 as planned at both the 100 mg and 200 mg once-daily dose level in biological-experienced and biological-naive patients.

Gilead announced completion of recruitment for SELECTION in 2019, and topline results are expected in the second quarter of 2020.

FITZROY Phase 2 and global DIVERSITY Phase 3 program in CD

CD is an IBD of unknown cause, resulting in chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with a relapsing and remitting course. In 2018, nearly 1.5 million patients were diagnosed with CD in the U.S., EU5 and Japan, and the total market for CD treatments in the acute and maintenance settings was worth $16 billion in the U.S., EU5 and Japan in 2018.2Sources: Decision Resources Group, Global Data, Galapagos Custom Research

Today, only 10% of CD patients on treatment achieve prolonged clinical remission. There are currently no highly effective oral therapies approved for CD and, similar to RA, treatment is dominated by injectable, biological 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 this suggests that filgotinib, with its high selectivity for JAK1, is a highly attractive candidate for the treatment of CD. It is hypothesized that by inhibiting JAK1, unwanted effects such as anemia may be reduced. This is of particular importance to IBD patients, who frequently experience fecal blood loss.

Our FITZROY Phase 2 trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of once-daily filgotinib in 174 patients with moderate to severe active CD and mucosal ulceration. Patients recruited were either anti-TNF naive or anti-TNF failures. As reported in The Lancet (Vermeire et al. 2016), the FITZROY trial achieved the primary endpoint of clinical remission at week 10 and filgotinib demonstrated a favorable tolerability profile consistent with the DARWIN trials in RA. 

Gilead initiated the Phase 3 DIVERSITY trial with filgotinib in CD in November 2016. The DIVERSITY Phase 3 trial investigates the efficacy and safety of 100 mg and 200 mg filgotinib once-daily compared to placebo in patients with moderate to severe active disease including those with prior antibody therapy failure. Gilead will recruit approximately 1,300 patients from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and Asia/Pacific regions. Men and women in the DIVERSITY trial will be randomized to receive placebo, 100 mg or 200 mg filgotinib. Due to preclinical findings with filgotinib regarding semen parameters, in the United States, males may receive 200 mg if they failed at least one anti-TNF therapy and vedolizumab. Adjacent to the filgotinib Phase 3 programs, we and Gilead are conducting dedicated male semen analysis studies in CD and UC patients (MANTA) and in RA, PsA, and AS patients (MANTA-RAy). At the time of publication of this report, it was decided to pause recruitment for DIVERSITY in connection with the corona virus pandemic.

In March 2017, Gilead initiated a Phase 2 trial in small bowel CD and a Phase 2 trial in fistulizing CD. Recruitment for these studies has also been paused in connection with the corona virus pandemic.

1 Source: Decision Resources Group, Global Data, Galapagos Custom Research
2 Source: Decision Resources Group, Global Data, Galapagos Custom Research