P307 Modelling of the relationship between ustekinumab exposure, faecal calprotectin and endoscopic outcomes in patients with Crohn’s disease

Wang, Z.(1);Verstockt, B.(2,3);Vermeire, S.(2,3);Sabino, J.(2,3);Ferrante, M.(2,3);Declerck, P.(1);Dreesen, E.(1,4);

(1)KU Leuven, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, Leuven, Belgium;(2)KU Leuven, Department of Chronic Diseases- Metabolism and Ageing, Leuven, Belgium;(3)University Hospitals Leuven, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leuven, Belgium;(4)Uppsala University, Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala, Sweden


In the UNITI endoscopy sub-study, only 17.4% of patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) on ustekinumab achieved endoscopic response and 10.9% achieved endoscopic remission at week (w)44. We aimed to investigate if improved endoscopic outcomes can be achieved through dose optimisation based on a population pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (popPK-PD) modelling and simulation analysis.


Real-world data were obtained from 83 patients with moderate-to-severe CD (94% multi-refractory) enrolled in a prospective cohort study receiving ustekinumab 6 mg/kg induction and every eight-week (q8w) 90 mg maintenance therapy. Ustekinumab serum concentrations were measured at mid-dose (w4) and trough (w8, w16, w24). Faecal calprotectin (fCal) was measured at baseline and at w4, w8, w16, w24. Endoscopic response (≥50% decrease in simple endoscopic score for CD [SES-CD]) and endoscopic remission (SES-CD ≤2) were assessed at w24. Modelling and simulation were performed using NONMEM 7.4.


Three sequential models were developed: a two-compartment popPK model linking ustekinumab dose to ustekinumab exposure, an indirect response popPK-PD model describing the effect of ustekinumab exposure on fCal, and a logistic regression popPD model linking fCal at w8 to endoscopic outcomes at w24 (Figure 1). Ustekinumab clearance increased with decreasing serum albumin and increasing bodyweight. The terminal half-life of ustekinumab in a median patient (bodyweight 65 kg, serum albumin 42.7 g/L) was 20.4 days. fCal decreased with increasing ustekinumab exposure. The probability of endoscopic response at w24 increased from 10.0% to 17.9% with fCal at w8 decreasing from 1,800 μg/g to 694 μg/g (Figure 2a) The probability of endoscopic remission at w24 increased from 2.1% to 10.0% with fCal at w8 decreasing from 1,800 μg/g to 214 μg/g (Figure 2b).The results from the simulation-based comparison of q8w and q4w maintenance dosing are shown in Table 1. Dose doubling (180 mg q8w), as opposed to interval halving (90 mg q4w), was predicted to result in a ustekinumab trough concentration of 2.4 μg/mL instead of 4.8 μg/mL.

Table 1. Simulation of q4w and q8w ustekinumab dosing

  q4w q8w
Ustekinumab serum concentration at steady state 4.8 µg/mL 1.2 µg/mL
fCal at steady state 437 μg/g 833 μg/g
Endoscopic remission rate at w48 6.5% 4.1%
Endoscopic response rate at w48 21.9% 16.3%


The developed model can guide clinical trial design and support model-informed dose optimisation to improve endoscopic outcome rates. Although our analyses showed that q4w dosing resulted in higher ustekinumab and lower fCal concentrations, the proportion of patients achieving endoscopic remission was limited.