while I think any public eduction about UC is good, and news of new treatments in trials is very welcome, - this news article (and the several other recent MDX-1100 articles discussed here recently) also annoy me a bit.
This text is more of a press release by one of the drug's creators (and undoubtedly a partner in a start up bio tech company to develop this drug). The reporter may not even be a science reporter, and did very little other than take the information the company provided.
The text makes it sound like there was no other treatment, except surgury, until this drug came along. Or, that whatever other treatments exist all have horrible side effects. (Some do, some don't, some bother just some people .. etc.). No drug is free of side effects, yet not one single side effect of this new wonder drug is even mentioned by the article.
While targeting a different segment of the complex chemical chain that comprises the gut's immune system, this approach does not appear that novel, nor do clinical rates seen so far suggest universal success. Also, no information about any adverse events observed in the trials is even hinted at.
I hope it does turn out to be a wonder drug with great success and no side effects; but I sure would like to hear this from an independent science reporter, or the CCFA, or the GI association - not just from a company rep with a financial stake (likely trying to raise venture capital at this very oment).
I repeat what I said about MDX-1100 before, along with a link to drug info at the CCFA.org site:
There are a number of new treatments for Crohn's and UC in the pipeline. Different ones focus on a different point in the long chain of chemical messages in the immune system, or the actions of chemicals on the surface of probiotics, some block inflammation, some help heal after inflammation.
This one is not my favored racehorse. I did not like the news story because it simplified more than you need to for public consumption (some of the info was very general, and they cited/linked the entire NICB.GOV website at the top level). They also make the potential side effects of other drugs (we know none of them are perfect) sound more horrible than they are, and completely skip over any side effects or adverse reactions this drug may have. Some of the story reads more like a drug company press release rather than a news story interviewing a medical researcher.
I would bet Dr. Sanborn has stock in this company, and that it may be about to raise more venture capital. I'm not saying that some of the news is not good, but only that this story was pretty shallow on information, and long on "positioning" the new drug. ... ... and this is not likely to be a pill. It is currently an IV infusion, and it looks like it will be a new (and expensive) alternative to Remicade, and very profitable for hospital infusion centers.
This drug development effort and a number of others is reviewed in a slideshow at the CCFA.ORG site. Dr. Sanborn helped put the slides together.
The info on this drug (MDX-1100) begins on slide#25 and some results are shown on slides #26 & #27.
While there was a benefit of the drug at the highest doses (See green bars on slide#27), at lower doses the drug was no different from the placebo. about 43% of 16 people taking the highest does got remission, and 25% of the 16 people taking the medium dose got remission. This means 11 out of 32 people (34%) getting a medium or high dose got remission. But this is compared to 10 of the 54 people taking placebo (18.5%) who also got remission for some unknown reason. One view would be that MXC-1100 is about 15.5% better than a placebo. (That modest finding sure did not come through in the corporate press release passed on by KABC.)
However, greater numbers of people got SOME clinical response (lower symptoms) or SOME mucosal healing without getting full remission, and maybe with more treatment they would eventually get remission. So this could still be a promising drug.
I just mistrust press releases a bit and always try to find a more scientific presentation. Normally I would go beyond slides prepared by one of the researchers with a financial interest, and find a peer-reviewed report. But, since these slides have been vetted by the CCFA, I think the numbers are good.
SO two points:
1) all of the other slides show other drugs in the pipeline, not just MCX-1100
2) the effect/benefit of MCX-1100 relative to other drug options (or to its eventual cost), or to yet to be understood side-effect levels, is still to be seen.