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Bristol Myers Squibb Presents New Data at Digestive Disease Week® on Zeposia (ozanimod) Highlighting Clinical Benefits and Safety Profile in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis

Induction therapy with Zeposia improved key symptoms of concern to patients, including rectal bleeding and stool frequency as early as Week 2 in Phase 3 True North study

Maintenance treatment with Zeposia was associated with increased likelihood of corticosteroid-free remission in True North study

New data from pooled safety analysis of Zeposia shows a consistent safety profile

Data demonstrate commitment to understanding and helping improve outcomes in gastrointestinal immune-mediated diseases

Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) today announced that additional data from multiple studies evaluating Zeposia (ozanimod) in ulcerative colitis (UC) were presented at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), taking place virtually May 21-23, 2021. These data deepen the understanding of Zeposia and reinforce Bristol Myers Squibb’s commitment to understanding and addressing unmet needs in gastroenterology.

Research being shared includes:

  • Safety of Ozanimod in Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis Over Time: Pooled Analysis from Phase 2, Phase 3, and Open-Label Extension Trials
    • Pooled analysis including data from the Phase 2 TOUCHSTONE study, Phase 3 True North study and open-label extension trial. Long-term treatment with Zeposia showed a safety profile that was consistent with its known safety profile.
      • These data (presentation 128) were featured as an oral presentation on May 21.
      • Author: D’Haens
  • Rapid Induction Effects of Ozanimod on Clinical Symptoms and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis: Results from the Induction Phase of True North
    • Induction therapy with Zeposia improved symptoms of rectal bleeding and stool frequency in patients with moderately to severely active UC beginning as early as Week 2 and continuing through Week 10. Parallel reductions in inflammatory biomarkers were seen at Weeks 5 and 10 with Zeposia versus placebo.
      • These data (presentation 460) were featured as an oral presentation on May 22.
      • Author: Osterman
  • Corticosteroid-Free Remission in Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis Treated with Ozanimod: Results from the Maintenance Phase of True North
    • Maintenance treatment with Zeposia was associated with increased likelihood of achieving corticosteroid-free remission versus placebo at Week 52 across a wide range of patient characteristics in UC.
      • These data (presentation 412) will be presented as a Grand Rounds: IBD presentation on May 23 from 11:35–11:40 a.m. EDT.
      • Author: Schreiber

“Together, these new data presented at Digestive Disease Week highlight the potential of Zeposia to address the need for additional safe and effective oral treatment options for adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis,” said Mary Beth Harler, M.D., head of Immunology and Fibrosis Development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We’ve made significant progress in our pursuit of more treatments with the potential to address the needs of patients living with gastrointestinal immune-mediated diseases and look forward to continuing our discussions with global regulatory health authorities to bring Zeposia to appropriate patients.”

Additional Bristol Myers Squibb-sponsored abstracts presented at DDW 2021 can be found below and accessed online here.

Visit this page on for more information on Bristol Myers Squibb’s scientific approach and resources on gastrointestinal immune-mediated diseases.

Clinical Presentations

  • Incidence of Infections in Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis Treated with Ozanimod and Relationship to Significant Lymphopenia: Results from a Pooled Safety Analysis

    Author: Rieder

    Presentation Number: Fr513

    Session Title: IBD: Adverse Events Related to Therapy

    Friday, May 21, 12:15–1 p.m. EDT

    Poster of Distinction

Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Presentations

  • Real-World Dose Escalation in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Ulcerative Colitis: A Systematic Review of the Literature

    Author: Kumar

    Presentation Number: 107

    Session Title: Efforts to Understand Disease and Improve Management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease & Colitis

    Friday, May 21, 1:58–2:12 p.m. EDT

    Chat (Oral)
  • Endoscopic Improvement and Histological Remission in Ulcerative Colitis: A Systematic Literature Review of Clinical, Economic and Quality of Life Outcomes

    Author: Kumar

    Presentation Number: Sa067

    Session Title: Patient Reported and Clinical Outcomes: IBD

    Saturday, May 22, 12:15–1 p.m. EDT

    Poster of Distinction
  • Treatment Patterns and Associated Outcomes in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Ulcerative Colitis in the United States: A Systematic Review

    Author: Gupte-Singh

    Presentation Number: Sa086

    Session Title: Patient Reported and Clinical Outcomes: IBD

    Saturday, May 22, 12:15–1 p.m. EDT


About True North

True North is a Phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Zeposia (ozanimod) 1mg in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who did not adequately respond to prior treatment. In the induction phase, a total of 645 patients were randomized to receive Zeposia (n=429) or placebo (n=216) in Cohort 1, of whom 94% and 89%, respectively, completed the induction period. At study entry, mean age was 42 years, 60% were male and mean disease duration was 7 years; patient characteristics were well-balanced across treatment groups. Cohort 1 patients were randomized 2:1 to Zeposia or placebo and treated once daily for 10 weeks. Cohort 2 (n=367) was an open-label arm where patients were treated once daily with Zeposia for 10 weeks.

For the maintenance phase, patients on Zeposia from either Cohort 1 or 2 who achieved clinical response in the induction phase at Week 10 were re-randomized 1:1 to Zeposia (n=230) or placebo (n=227) through Week 52. Of these, 80% and 54.6% of patients who received Zeposia and placebo, respectively, completed the study. Patients discontinuing treatment due to TEAEs included 3 patients receiving Zeposia and 6 patients receiving placebo; disease relapse (13.5% Zeposia, 33.9% placebo) was the most common reason for discontinuation. Patients on placebo who achieved clinical response in the induction phase at Week 10 remained on placebo during this blinded maintenance phase.

In Cohort 1 of the induction phase and in the re-randomized patient group in the maintenance phase, approximately 30% of patients had prior TNF-inhibitor exposure.

All eligible patients were rolled into an open-label extension trial, which is ongoing and designed to assess the longer-term profile of Zeposia for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.

The primary endpoints in True North are the proportion of patients in clinical remission based on a composite clinical and endoscopic score (3-component Mayo Score) at Week 10 in the induction phase, and at Week 52 for the maintenance phase. Secondary endpoints include the proportion of patients achieving clinical response at Week 10 and Week 52, the proportion of patients with endoscopic improvement (endoscopy score ≤1) at Week 10 and Week 52, the proportion of patients with mucosal healing at Week 10 and Week 52, and clinical remission at Week 52 in patients that were in remission at Week 10. In this study, mucosal healing is defined as endoscopic improvement with histologic remission. More information can be found on, NCT02435992.

About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is characterized by an abnormal, prolonged immune response that creates long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in the mucosa (lining) of the large intestine (colon) or rectum. Symptoms include bloody stools, severe diarrhea and frequent abdominal pain. Ulcerative colitis has a major impact on patients' health-related quality of life, including physical functioning, social and emotional well-being and ability to work. Many patients have an inadequate response or do not respond at all to currently available therapies. It is estimated that approximately 12.6 million people worldwide have IBD.

About Zeposia (ozanimod)

Zeposia (ozanimod) is an oral, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator that binds with high affinity to S1P receptors 1 and 5. Zeposia reduces the capacity of lymphocytes to migrate from lymphoid tissue, reducing the number of circulating lymphocytes in peripheral blood, with minimal impact on cells involved in innate immune response, which are key components of immunosurveillance. The mechanism by which Zeposia exerts therapeutic effects in ulcerative colitis is unknown but may involve the reduction of lymphocyte migration into the intestines.

Bristol Myers Squibb is continuing to evaluate Zeposia in an open-label extension trial, which is designed to assess the longer-term profile of Zeposia for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. The company is also investigating Zeposia for the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease in the ongoing Phase 3 YELLOWSTONE clinical trial program.

Zeposia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) in March 2020. The European Commission approved Zeposia for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with active disease as defined by clinical or imaging features in May 2020. The European Medicines Agency validated Bristol Myers Squibb’s Marketing Authorization Application for Zeposia for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis in December 2020. A regulatory decision from the EMA is expected in the second half of 2021. The FDA assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of May 30, 2021 for Zeposia for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC). Zeposia is not approved for the treatment of ulcerative colitis in any country.


ZEPOSIA is indicated for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.11



  • Patients who in the last 6 months, experienced myocardial infarction, unstable angina, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), decompensated heart failure requiring hospitalization, or Class III/IV heart failure or have a presence of Mobitz type II second or third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, sick sinus syndrome, or sino-atrial, unless the patient has a functioning pacemaker
  • Patients with severe untreated sleep apnea
  • Patients taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor

Infections: ZEPOSIA may increase the susceptibility to infections. Life-threatening and rare fatal infections have occurred in patients receiving ZEPOSIA. Obtain a recent (i.e., within 6 months or after discontinuation of prior MS therapy) complete blood count (CBC) including lymphocyte count before initiation of ZEPOSIA. Delay initiation of ZEPOSIA in patients with an active infection until the infection is resolved. Consider interruption of treatment with ZEPOSIA if a patient develops a serious infection. Continue monitoring for infections up to 3 months after discontinuing ZEPOSIA

  • Herpes zoster was reported as an adverse reaction in ZEPOSIA -treated patients. Herpes simplex encephalitis and varicella zoster meningitis have been reported with sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators. Patients without a healthcare professional-confirmed history of varicella (chickenpox), or without documentation of a full course of vaccination against varicella zoster virus (VZV), should be tested for antibodies to VZV before initiating ZEPOSIA. A full course of vaccination for antibody-negative patients with varicella vaccine is recommended prior to commencing treatment with ZEPOSIA
  • Cases of fatal cryptococcal meningitis (CM) were reported in patients treated with another S1P receptor modulator. If CM is suspected, ZEPOSIA should be suspended until cryptococcal infection has been excluded. If CM is diagnosed, appropriate treatment should be initiated.
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) is an opportunistic viral infection of the brain that typically occurs in patients who are immunocompromised, and that usually leads to death or severe disability. No cases of PML were identified in active-controlled MS clinical trials with ZEPOSIA. PML has been reported in patients treated with S1P receptor modulators and other MS therapies and has been associated with some risk factors. If PML is suspected, withhold ZEPOSIA and perform an appropriate diagnostic evaluation. If confirmed, treatment with ZEPOSIA should be discontinued
  • In clinical studies, patients who received ZEPOSIA were not to receive concomitant treatment with antineoplastic, non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive, or immune-modulating therapies used for treatment of MS. Concomitant use of ZEPOSIA with any of these therapies would be expected to increase the risk of immunosuppression. When switching to ZEPOSIA from immunosuppressive medications, consider the duration of their effects and their mode of action to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects
  • Use of live attenuated vaccines should be avoided during and for 3 months after treatment with ZEPOSIA. If live attenuated vaccine immunizations are required, administer at least 1 month prior to initiation of ZEPOSIA

Bradyarrhythmia and Atrioventricular Conduction Delays: Since initiation of ZEPOSIA may result in a transient decrease in heart rate and atrioventricular conduction delays, dose titration is recommended to help reduce cardiac effects. Initiation of ZEPOSIA without dose escalation may result in greater decreases in heart rate. If treatment with ZEPOSIA is considered, advice from a cardiologist should be sought for those individuals:

  • with significant QT prolongation
  • with arrhythmias requiring treatment with Class 1a or III anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • with ischemic heart disease, heart failure, history of cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease, and uncontrolled hypertension
  • with a history of Mobitz type II second-degree or higher AV block, sick-sinus syndrome, or sinoatrial heart block

Liver Injury: Elevations of aminotransferases may occur in patients receiving ZEPOSIA. Obtain liver function tests, if not recently available (i.e., within 6 months), before initiation of ZEPOSIA. Patients who develop symptoms suggestive of hepatic dysfunction should have hepatic enzymes checked and ZEPOSIA should be discontinued if significant liver injury is confirmed. Caution should be exercised when using ZEPOSIA in patients with history of significant liver disease

Fetal Risk: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Based on animal studies, ZEPOSIA may cause fetal harm. Women of childbearing potential should use effective contraception to avoid pregnancy during treatment and for 3 months after stopping ZEPOSIA

Increased Blood Pressure: Increase in systolic pressure was observed after about 3 months of treatment and persisted throughout treatment. Blood pressure should be monitored during treatment and managed appropriately. Certain foods that may contain very high amounts of tyramine could cause severe hypertension in patients taking ZEPOSIA. Patients should be advised to avoid foods containing a very large amount of tyramine while taking ZEPOSIA

Respiratory Effects: ZEPOSIA may cause a decline in pulmonary function. Spirometric evaluation of respiratory function should be performed during therapy, if clinically indicated

Macular edema: S1P modulators have been associated with an increased risk of macular edema. Patients with a history of uveitis or diabetes mellitus are at increased risk. Patients with a history of these conditions should have an ophthalmic evaluation of the fundus, including the macula, prior to treatment initiation and regular follow-up examinations. An ophthalmic evaluation is recommended in all patients at any time if there is a change in vision. Continued use of ZEPOSIA in patients with macular edema has not been evaluated; potential benefits and risks for the individual patient should be considered if deciding whether ZEPOSIA should be discontinued

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES): Rare cases of PRES have been reported in patients receiving a S1P receptor modulator. If a ZEPOSIA-treated patient develops unexpected neurological or psychiatric symptoms or any symptom/sign suggestive of an increase in intracranial pressure, a complete physical and neurological examination should be conducted. Symptoms of PRES are usually reversible but may evolve into ischemic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. Delay in diagnosis and treatment may lead to permanent neurological sequelae. If PRES is suspected, treatment with ZEPOSIA should be discontinued

Unintended Additive Immunosuppressive Effects from Prior Immunosuppressive or Immune-Modulating Drugs: When switching from drugs with prolonged immune effects, the half-life and mode of action of these drugs must be considered to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects while at the same time minimizing risk of disease reactivation. Initiating treatment with ZEPOSIA after treatment with alemtuzumab is not recommended

Severe Increase in Disability After Stopping ZEPOSIA: Severe exacerbation of disease, including disease rebound, has been rarely reported after discontinuation of a S1P receptor modulator. The possibility of severe exacerbation of disease should be considered after stopping ZEPOSIA treatment so patients should be monitored upon discontinuation

Immune System Effects After Stopping ZEPOSIA: After discontinuing ZEPOSIA, the median time for lymphocyte counts to return to the normal range was 30 days with approximately 90% of patients in the normal range within 3 months. Use of immunosuppressants within this period may lead to an additive effect on the immune system, therefore caution should be applied when initiating other drugs 4 weeks after the last dose of ZEPOSIA

Most common Adverse Reactions (≥ 4%): upper respiratory infection, hepatic transaminase elevation, orthostatic hypotension, urinary tract infection, back pain, and hypertension.

For additional safety information, please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

About Digestive Disease Week® (DDW)

Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW is a fully virtual meeting from May 21-23, 2021. The meeting showcases more than 2,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology. More information can be found at

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Celgene and Juno Therapeutics are wholly owned subsidiaries of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. In certain countries outside the U.S., due to local laws, Celgene and Juno Therapeutics are referred to as, Celgene, a Bristol Myers Squibb company and Juno Therapeutics, a Bristol Myers Squibb company.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things, the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. All statements that are not statements of historical facts are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on historical performance and current expectations and projections about our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives and involve inherent risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including internal or external factors that could delay, divert or change any of them in the next several years, that are difficult to predict, may be beyond our control and could cause our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, that future study results will be consistent with the results to date, that Zeposia (ozanimod) may not receive regulatory approval for the additional indications described in this release in the currently anticipated timeline or at all and, if approved, whether such product candidate for such additional indications described in this release will be commercially successful. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many risks and uncertainties that affect Bristol Myers Squibb’s business and market, particularly those identified in the cautionary statement and risk factors discussion in Bristol Myers Squibb’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document and except as otherwise required by applicable law, Bristol Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.


$BMY presents new data from multiple studies in patients with #ulcerativecolitis at #DDW2021


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