Upadacitinib in Crohn's disease

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2024 Mar 21. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2024.2333964.Online ahead of print.


Axel Dignass 1Philip Esters 1Cathrin Flauaus 2


Author information

1Department of Medicine I, Agaplesion Markus Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

2AbbVie Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, Medical Immunology, Wiesbaden, Germany.


Introduction: The small molecule and oral selective and reversible Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor upadacitinib has been approved for the treatment of moderate to severe active Crohn's disease (CD) in adult patients since April 2023 by EMA/FDA.

Areas covered: The approval is based on the two induction studies a maintenance study showing that upadacitinib induction and maintenance therapy was superior to placebo. The approval of upadacitinib in CD expands the therapeutic armamentarium for the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Upadacitinib is the first and only JAK inhibitor approved in patients with CD and provides a novel mechanism of action and the first advanced oral treatment option for patients with CD. Upadacitinib is approved for the treatment of other immunologically mediated disorders, including ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis arthritis, axial spondylarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and atopic dermatitis. Treatment of atopic dermatitis has been approved from the age of 12 years.

Expert opinion: Upadacitinib may cause relevant changes of our current treatment algorithms for Crohn's disease. Further real world studies and head-to-head comparisons are needed to position upadacitinib in our current treatment algorithms for CD.

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