SAN DIEGO, Calif.—An investigational drug currently under FDA review for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has now shown positive results in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The study will appear in the August 16, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Results from the phase 2 clinical trial showed the drug Tofacitinib achieved clinical response and remission in certain patients suffering from ulcerative colitis—a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon where patients experience painful episodes of rectal bleeding and diarrhea combined with the urgent need to use the restroom.
“Ulcerative colitis causes severe bouts of illness that adversely affect a patient’s quality of life at home and work," said William Sandborn, MD, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at UC San Diego Health System. “Oral treatment with Tofacitinib resulted in improvement and remission in some patients."
Currently, there are limited types of drugs to treat ulcerative colitis. Drugs available are not universally effective and some require intravenous administration.