Centocor has claimed promising results from a clinical study of Remicade in the treatment of Crohn's disease.
The Johnson & Johnson company said the Sonic trial has shown that more patients taking either Remicade alone or together with azathioprine experienced steroid-free remission and mucosal healing, compared to those receiving azathioprine alone.At week 26, 57 per cent of patients receiving Remicade combination therapy and 44 per cent receiving it as a monotherapy achieved steroid-free remission, the firm said, compared with a figure of 31 per cent of patients receiving azathioprine alone."
Findings from the Sonic trial have the potential to challenge the treatment protocol for Crohn's disease as these data show that introducing Remicade earlier may result in more patients achieving steroid-free remission and complete mucosal healing," suggested lead investigator Dr Jean-Frederic Colombel, professor of hepatogastroenterology at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Lille.
According to Dr Colombel, the results reinforced the efficacy and safety profile of the medicine. NHS Direct states that Crohn's disease is an inflammatory condition which can affect any part of the gut and affects approximately one in 1,500 people.