Alicaforsen is an antisense oligonucleotide inhibitor of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 protein expression with activity in subjects with ulcerative colitis and pouchitis.
To compare the effects of alicaforsen enema to standard of care mesalazine (mesalamine) enema in subjects with mild to moderate active left-sided ulcerative colitis.
A randomized, double-blind, active-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Subjects received a nightly enema of 120 mg alicaforsen (n = 55), 240 mg alicaforsen (n = 50), or 4 g mesalazine (n = 54) for 6 weeks, followed by a 24-week monitoring period. The primary end point was Disease Activity Index at week 6. Clinical improvement, remission and relapse were secondary end points.
No significant difference was observed between treatment arms in the primary end point. However, the median duration of response to alicaforsen enema treatment was two- to threefold longer (128 and 146 days) in comparison with mesalazine (54 days). Complete mucosal healing occurred in 24% of the 240 mg alicaforsen group, when compared with 17% in the mesalazine.
Alicaforsen enema demonstrated an acute response and safety profile similar to mesalazine enema, but was differentiated by a more durable response. The extended length of remission suggests that alicaforsen enema treatment may have a disease modifying effect.