Comparative Effectiveness of Ustekinumab Versus Adalimumab in Induction of Clinical Response and Remission in Crohn’s Disease: Experience of a Real-World Cohort at a Tertiary Care Inflammatory Bowel Disease Referral Center

Zunirah Ahmed, Krishna Venkata, Nan Zhang, Talha A. Malik


Background: There is paucity of head-to-head studies comparing the effectiveness of ustekinumab (UST) and adalimumab (ADA) in Crohn’s disease (CD). Here we provide a real-world comparison of these two agents.

Methods: We conducted an ambidirectional cohort study. Each patient included had moderate to severe active CD. Clinical response and remission were assessed between 4 and 16 weeks after induction.

Results: Of a total of 163 patients, 97 were induced with ADA and 66 were induced with UST. Logistic regression model analysis adjusted based on effect size showed that ADA when compared to UST induced clinical response (73.2% vs. 50% (odds ratio (OR): 2.40; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.14 - 5.07; P = 0.02)) and remission (44.3% vs. 27.7% (OR: 2.35; 95% CI: 1.07 - 5.16; P = 0.034) in a statistically significantly higher proportion of patients. Among tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-naive patients, when comparing ADA vs. UST, ADA was superior in inducing clinical response (69/89 (77.5%) vs. 4/10 (40%) (OR: 4.26; 95% CI: 1.08 - 16.84; P = 0.04)), but not remission (41/89 (46%) vs. 3/9 (33%) (OR: 1.64; 95% CI: 0.39 - 6.97; P = 0.503)). Among TNF-experienced patients, ADA was numerically inferior in inducing clinical response (2/8 (25%) vs. 29/56 (52%) (OR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.07 - 1.94; P = 0.24)) and remission (2/8 (25%) vs. 15/56 (27%) (OR: 1.22; 95% CI: 0.22 - 6.81; P = 0.82)), but neither of these differences were statistically significant.

Conclusions: In a real-world setting, the rate of clinical response and remission was higher among patients with CD who received ADA compared to UST. Of note, however, despite the small sample sizes of TNF-experienced patients who received ADA and TNF-naive patients who received UST, the higher effectiveness of ADA in inducing clinical response and indeed remission among patients with CD with active disease appears to primarily be driven by those who are TNF-naive. Among TNF-experienced patients, UST may be superior in inducing clinical response and equally effective in inducing clinical remission when compared to ADA. Based on this study, one may infer that among TNF-experienced patients with CD with active disease, one could consider switching to an agent such as UST instead of a second approved TNF blocker. However, larger studies comparing the two agents are required.

Gastroenterol Res. 2019;12(5):245-251


Crohn’s disease; Adalimumab; Ustekinumab; TNF-experienced; TNF-naive; Clinical response; Clinical remission; Efficacy

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