2017-08-16 16:30:27 UTC

We Need an FDA-Approved Treatment for Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Aug. 16, 2017

New white paper details next steps to advance drug development for EoE.

The past two decades have witnessed remarkable progress in the development of pharmacologic therapies in eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). However, despite this progress, there are currently no FDA-approved medicines for EoE, so all treatments are currently considered to be “off-label.”

To help move EoE drug development forward, the AGA Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics has released a new white paper with recommendations for industry on appropriate endpoints for clinical trials. Of interest to physicians who treat patients with EoE, the white paper outlines our current understanding of EoE.

Four important points from the white paper:

1. There is a complex inter-relationship between EoE, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and proton pump inhibitor-responsive esophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE). A substantial proportion of patients with esophageal eosinophilia will improve with PPI treatment.

2. The clinical features and presentation of EoE differ between children and adults. Poor symptom specificity among children has limited the ability to identify appropriate candidates for enrollment into clinical trials and has impeded the development of pediatric patient-reported outcome instruments.

3. Aside from pharmacologic approaches, EoE can be addressed with dietary modifications and/or endoscopic dilation.

4. We should remember that the diagnosis of EoE carries a potentially major financial burden on patients’ families, making identifying new, effective and affordable treatment options a priority.

Review White Paper AGA: Drug Development for Eosinophilic Esophagitis in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology for more insights into drug development for EoE. For resources to help you talk with and educate your patients with EoE, visit the AGA PatientINFO Center.

This white paper was developed based on expert discussion at the 2016 AGA Drug Development Conference, sponsored by the AGA Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics. Learn more in this editorial by conference co-chairs Colin Howden, MD, AGAF, and Nimish Vakil, MD, AGAF, or view the related white papers on functional dyspepsia, gastroparesis and GERD.

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