Pediatric Crohn Disease Clinical Outcome Assessments and Biomarkers: Current State and Path Forward for Global Collaboration

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There is a pressing need for drug development in pediatric Crohn disease (CD). Our aim was to provide strategic approaches toward harmonization of current thinking about clinical outcome assessments (COAs) and biomarkers to facilitate drug development in pediatric CD.


Scientists from the United States Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency, Health Canada, and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency of Japan had monthly teleconferences from January 2014 through May 2015. A literature review was conducted to assess the measurement properties of all existing COA tools and to evaluate the current landscape of biomarkers used in pediatric CD. Based on the findings of literature review, we reached the consensus on the strategic approaches for evaluating outcomes in pediatric CD trials.


The pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index, Crohn's Disease Activity Index, and Harvey-Bradshaw's index were used in pediatric CD clinical studies. But they lack adequate measurement properties (validity, reliability, and ability to detect change of the treatment) that are required to support approval of products intended to treat pediatric CD. Biomarkers (ie, fecal lactoferrin, osteoprotegerin, and calprotectin) have shown some promise for their potential as noninvasive surrogate endpoints in CD.


Lack of well-defined and reliable COAs presents a hurdle for global drug development in pediatric CD. It is essential to develop well-defined and reliable COAs that can measure meaningful clinical benefit for patients in terms of how they feel, function, and survive. Development of noninvasive biomarkers as reliable surrogate endpoints needs to be further explored.

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