New Drug Awaiting FDA Approval: Omvoh Could Boost Outcomes for People With Ulcerative Colitis
People living with the pain, bloody diarrhea and sometimes urgent need to use the toilet that comes with ulcerative colitis may soon have a new treatment option that’s already been given the go-ahead in Europe.
The drug — an antibody known as mirikizumab (Omvoh) — is the first of its kind tested for this condition. It works by blocking interleukin-23, a key protein in triggering and maintaining gut inflammation.
An international team led by researchers at Amsterdam University Medical Centers in the Netherlands tested the drug’s safety and effectiveness in trials that included 1,281 adults with moderate to severe inflammation from the disease.
Rates of remission doubled, to as much as 50%, in certain groups.
If approved in the United States, the drug could provide better or safer symptom control in a marketplace of treatments, according to researchers. Among those are the steroid prednisone, anti-TNF inhibitors that suppress the immune system and other medications, including one that blocks two proteins known as cytokines.
The new drug works by blocking a single protein, said lead researcher Dr. Geert D’Haens, a professor of gastroenterology at Amsterdam UMC.
“It’s very important to patients,” he said. “That’s the purpose. Restoration of quality of life and normality of life, whatever that may mean, of course.”