sfc425, we're not sure what it means yet. Janssen signed a deal to develop up to three IBD drugs using antisense technology. They're not even drugs yet. So we don't know whether they will be great at maintenance or reducing flares, or even ever make it into production. Here's what's good about it:
1) The one antisense drug that exists for IBD was extremely effective in its phase II trial.
2) Janssen, the maker of Remicade, Simponi, and Stelara, wants to make extremely effective IBD drugs too, and is willing to pay a lot of money to do so.
3) The intent of all of these antisense drugs is to be oral medications, which is good for those of us who hate needles.
4) These new drugs will have different mechanisms of action than existing drugs. If anti-TNF's don't work for you, then maybe these will. They're not just more of the same.
5) More research is always a good thing. They'll never find the next great IBD treatment without it.
6) Drug makers want to make money. If Celgene's drug is a pill and is twice as effective as Janssen's Remicade infusion, more doctors will prescribe the pill than Remicade. This forces Janssen to develop something that is at least as effective as Celgene's pill. And from there it's game on. How many years went by where the only treatments for IBD were 5-ASA's and chemotherapy immunosuppressants? Then Remicade came on the scene, a state-of-the-art treatment specifically for IBD (at least at first). It made lots of money, and the rush to develop IBD treatments exploded - Humira, Cimzia, Simponi, Tysabri, Entyvio, Stelara. And that doesn't even include the many other treatments that never made it to approval. Even the failures are great because they advanced the research.
38-year-old male, Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1989 at age 12
Happy on Humira for 9 years until August 2013
Failed Remicade, Cimzia, Imuran, 6-MP, MTX
Ileostomy April 2014
Started Entyvio July 2014