Filgotinib is in clinical development for the treatment of patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the bowel and rectum which can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain and faecal urgency or incontinence. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis often follow a pattern of relapse and remission where they have periods of none or mild symptoms followed by periods of increased symptoms flare-up (‘active’). There are no curative therapies for ulcerative colitis and current treatment aims to relieve symptoms during a flare-up and maintain remission by preventing symptoms from returning.
Filgotinib is administered orally in tablet form. It works by binding to and blocking a pathway of the JAK enzymes, which mediates the signalling and activity of many molecules involved in inflammation and immune mediated diseases. Filgotinib is highly selective for JAK1 so it may have fewer adverse effects compared to other non-selective drugs that block all JAK enzymes. If licensed, filgotinib will offer an additional treatment option for the induction and maintenance of remission in adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.
Budesonide is a corticosteroid that exerts anti-inflammatory effects in the gastrointestinal tract. The treatment works by binding with high affinity to intracellular glucocorticoid receptors. In one phase III clinical trial, budesonide was shown to be significantly effective in inducing clinical remission in lymphocytic colitis patients in comparison to a placebo. If licensed, budesonide will offer a treatment option for patients with lymphocytic colitis.