Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND & AIMS:Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapies are the most widely used biologic drugs for treating immune-mediated diseases, but repeated administration can induce the formation of anti-drug antibodies. The ability to identify patients at increased risk for development of anti-drug antibodies would facilitate selection of therapy and use of preventative strategies. METHODS:We performed a genome-wide association study to identify variants associated with time to development of anti-drug antibodies in a discovery cohort of 1240 biologic-naïve patients with Crohn's disease starting infliximab or adalimumab therapy. Immunogenicity was defined as an anti-drug antibody titer ≥10 AU/mL using a drug-tolerant enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Significant association signals were confirmed in a replication cohort of 178 patients with inflammatory bowel disease. RESULTS:The HLA-DQA1*05 allele, carried by approximately 40% of Europeans, significantly increased the rate of immunogenicity (hazard ratio [HR], 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.60-2.25; P = 5.88 × 10-13). The highest rates of immunogenicity, 92% at 1 year, were observed in patients treated with infliximab monotherapy who carried HLA-DQA1*05; conversely the lowest rates of immunogenicity, 10% at 1 year, were observed in patients treated with adalimumab combination therapy who did not carry HLA-DQA1*05. We confirmed this finding in the replication cohort (HR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.35-2.98; P = 6.60 × 10-4). This association was consistent for patients treated with adalimumab (HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.32-2.70) or infliximab (HR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.57-2.33), and for patients treated with anti-TNF therapy alone (HR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.37-2.22) or in combination with an immunomodulator (HR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.57-2.58). CONCLUSIONS:In an observational study, we found a genome-wide significant association between HLA-DQA1*05 and the development of antibodies against anti-TNF agents. A randomized controlled biomarker trial is required to determine whether pretreatment testing for HLA-DQA1*05 improves patient outcomes by helping physicians select anti-TNF and combination therapies. ID: NCT03088449.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





189 - 199


Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.


PANTS Consortium, Humans, Crohn Disease, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Heterozygote, Alleles, Patient Selection, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Genome-Wide Association Study, Young Adult, HLA-DQ alpha-Chains, Adalimumab, Infliximab