Takeda's Vedolizumab Approved for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the UK

Takeda plans to target gastrointestinal and oncology medications in the near future.

Takeda plans to target gastrointestinal and oncology medications in the near future.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved Takeda's vedolizumab (Entyvio) for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in the United Kingdom.

The cost watchdog previously rejected vedolizumab back in December, saying that it did not have enough results to prove a good treatment, or be of good value for UK patients.

Takeda came back with new data, showing vedolizumab worth as more effective than traditional therapy. It was approved to treat severely active ulcerative colitis, in March, as a good alternative to therapies like corticosteroids, which can have severe side effects. Ulcerative colitis is one aspect of IBD, the other being Crohn's disease.

Vedolizumab is now approved to treat Crohn's disease for those who do not respond to therapy with TNF-alpha inhibitors.

"After considering further information, NICE is happy to be able to recommend vedolizumab as a treatment option for those with Crohn's disease. We hope the recommendation will benefit tens of thousands of people who live with this debilitating condition," said Carole Longson, Director of NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, as quoted by PharmaTimes.

Takeda has had a few mishaps this past year, including decreased sales and losing the patent for one of its top sellers, the diabetes drug, Actos.

Although Entyvio projected peak sales of $1 billion by 2020, Takeda also faces competition. Entyvio will compete against well-established medications for Crohn's, like AbbVie's Humira, Amgen's Enbel, and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade and Simponi.

Takeda's CEO, Christophe Weber, said in a statement that Takeda will focus more of its attention on gastrointestinal and oncology medications in the near future. It recently found very positive results for ixazomib, a potential successor to its drug, Velcade.