Close up of hands of a mixed race person tipping two tablets out of a tablet bottle

NICE recommends etrasimod (Velsipity) for Ulcerative Colitis

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended etrasimod as a treatment for some people with moderately to severely active Ulcerative Colitis. We are pleased that this will expand treatment options for people in England living with Colitis.

NICE is the organisation that decides whether treatments should be available on the NHS in England. Wales and Northern Ireland usually follow NICE decisions too.

In Scotland, these decisions are made by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). The SMC has not assessed etrasimod yet. We do not know when this might happen, so this medicine is not available on the NHS in Scotland for the time being.

What is etrasimod?

Etrasimod is a type of medicine called an S1P receptor modulator. It sticks to a protein on some white blood cells. This stops the white blood cells travelling into your gut, where they can cause inflammation.

The brand name for etrasimod is Velsipity.

Who can have etrasimod?

NICE has recommended etrasimod as a treatment option for moderately to severely active Ulcerative Colitis in people who:

  • Are aged 16 and over
  • Have had to stop conventional or biological treatments because of side effects
  • Have found that other treatments don’t work for them
  • Have found that their old treatments have stopped working.

It is also being assessed for people with Crohn’s, but this is at an earlier stage of development.

How do you have it?

Etrasimod comes as a tablet that you take once a day.

How well does it work?

Two trials have looked at how well etrasimod works to get Colitis under control (in remission) and keep it under control. The trials compared etrasimod to a dummy treatment (placebo).

  • In one trial, 25 out of every 100 people who took etrasimod were in clinical remission after 12 weeks. Only 15 out of every 100 people who had placebo were in remission.
  • In the second trial, 27 out of every 100 people who had etrasimod were in clinical remission after 12 weeks. Just over 7 out of every 100 people who had placebo were in remission.

The second trial carried on beyond the initial 12 weeks to a total of 52 weeks.

  • At the end of the 52-week period, 18 out of every 100 people still had their Colitis under control, compared to 2 out of 100 people taking placebo.

Evidence from both studies showed that etrasimod is more effective than placebo at getting Colitis into remission as well as keeping it in remission over a longer period.

What side effects are there?

In both trials, etrasimod was found to be safe to take. In the first trial, the rate of side effects was similar among people taking etrasimod and those taking placebo. In the second trial, which lasted 52 weeks, 71 out of every 100 people taking etrasimod reported side effects, compared to 56 out of every 100 taking a placebo.

These studies suggest that etrasimod may cause side effects in some people. In both trials, most side effects were graded mild or moderate.

When will it be available?

New treatment options should become available on the NHS in England within 3 months of NICE making a recommendation. Wales and Northern Ireland usually follow NICE decisions too. 

How do you get it?

Etrasimod is not suitable for everyone with Colitis. If you think it might an option for you, talk to your IBD team. Together, you can talk about your treatment options and decide what is right for you.

Increasing access to medicines

Find out how we are working to ensure people with Crohn’s or Colitis can access the most effective medicines and treatments so that they stay well.


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We know it can be difficult to live with, or support someone living with these conditions. But you’re not alone. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.

Our helpline team can help by:

  • Providing information about Crohn’s and Colitis.

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