Liselotte Fierens , Claire Liefferinckx , Eveline Hoefkens , Triana Lobatòn , Erwin Dreesen , João Sabino , Marc Ferrante
Although subcutaneous formulations of infliximab CT-P13 and vedolizumab are registered for treating moderate-to-severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), many questions on their use remain unanswered. We set up a multi-stakeholder initiative resulting in a position statement.
Based on publicly available data, statements on subcutaneous infliximab and vedolizumab were developed and reviewed by 45 Belgian IBD physicians in a 3-round modified Delphi process. During a consensus meeting, input of 16 IBD patients, nine IBD nurses, and two clinical pharmacologists was provided and statements were further discussed, modified and scored. Statements achieving agreement by at least 70% of IBD physicians were accepted.
The Delphi process resulted in 79 agreed statements. In patients initiating intravenous therapy, IBD physicians would only consider switching to subcutaneous formulations in patients achieving both clinical and biological response (for Crohn's disease) or both clinical and endoscopic response (for ulcerative colitis). For patients under maintenance therapy, switching to subcutaneous formulations was only considered in patients achieving both clinical and endoscopic response while receiving standard dosing of infliximab or vedolizumab. While awaiting more scientific data, IBD physicians would consider weekly subcutaneous injections or switching back to an intravenous formulation in case of loss of response. Finally, switching to a subcutaneous formulation should always be a shared decision.
All stakeholders welcomed subcutaneous infliximab and vedolizumab. However, more scientific data are needed to select the right patients and timing for switching to these newer formulations, and to explore the optimal strategy in case of loss of response.