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New Drug for Crohn’s Disease

Posted Oct 18 2012 7:03am

The current biological drug regimen for Crohn’s diseaseA chronic inflammatory disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract., which is a form of inflammatory bowel diseaseA group of inflammatory conditions of the intestine. The two major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. (IBDAn abbreviation for inflammatory bowel disease, a group of inflammatory conditions of the intestine. The two major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.), is limited due to the fact that over 30% of patients are resistantA microbe, such as a type of bacteria, that is able to resist the effects of antibiotics or other drugs. to what is known as ‘tumour necrosis factorA protein that stimulates inflammation and causes cells to die.(TNFAn abbreviation for tumour necrosis factor, a protein that stimulates inflammation and causes cells to die.)’. Consequently, drugs such as Remicade, Humira and Cimzia which are known as TNF Inhibitors simply do not work.

It therefore looks as though there is potentially good news for TNF Inhibitor resistant patients with the advent of a new monoclonal antibodyOne of a group of special proteins in the blood that are produced in response to a specific antigen and play a key role in immunity and allergy. drug, called usteketinab, which will be marketed under the trade name Stelara. According to latest clinical trials, in patients with moderate to severe disease placed on ustekinumab there was an increased clinical response and remissionThe lessening or disappearance of the symptoms or signs of a disease. as early as six weeks following treatment. The authors of the report, to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine, say that this is a significant first step towards a new treatment option for these patients.

It is still early days and more clinical trials and safety tests need to be conducted before this new drug can be made widely available.

The study was funded by Janssen Research & Development.

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