Treatment Persistence among Bio-Naïve Patients with Crohn's Disease Initiated on Ustekinumab or Adalimumab

Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2023


To compare persistence and describe dose titration among bio-naïve patients with Crohn's disease (CD) initiated on ustekinumab or adalimumab.


Bio-naïve adults with CD who initiated ustekinumab or adalimumab (index date) from 23 September 2016 (ustekinumab US approval for CD) to 1 August 2019 were selected from IQVIA PharMetrics Plus. Cohorts were balanced on baseline characteristics measured over 12 months pre-index using inverse probability of treatment weights. Persistence was defined as no gaps (ustekinumab: >120 days; adalimumab: >60 days) between days of supply. Dose escalation was defined as ≥2 consecutive sub-cutaneous claims 100% above the US label daily dose in the maintenance phase; de-escalation was a return to the daily dose for ≥2 consecutive claims. Outcomes were described using weighted Kaplan-Meier models; persistence outcomes were compared using Cox's proportional hazards models.


At 12 months post-index, patients in the ustekinumab (n = 948) versus adalimumab (n = 4143) cohort had a significantly higher rate of persistence on index biologic (hazard ratio [HR] 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29-1.74). A total of 830 (87.6%) patients in the ustekinumab cohort and 3713 (89.6%) in the adalimumab cohort began the maintenance phase; within 12 months, 11.2% and 16.9%, underwent a dose escalation, and 26.6% and 6.3%, respectively, subsequently de-escalated to the per US label daily exposure.


Bio-naïve patients with CD initiated on ustekinumab were more persistent than patients initiated on adalimumab; moreover, these patients had numerically lower dose escalation and higher de-escalation rates than patients initiated on adalimumab. Findings support the use of ustekinumab as a first-line treatment for bio-naïve patients with CD.

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Zhdanava M, Ding Z, Manceur AM, Muser E, Lefebvre P, Holiday C, Lafeuille MH, Pilon D