UC Patients May Have New Treatment Options, Thanks To New, Experimental Drugs

UC Patients May Have New Treatment Options, Thanks To New, Experimental Drugs
Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC) now have access to new therapies for treating their disease. According to UC expert William J. Sandborn, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of California, as reported in a recent issue of Healio Gastroenterology, effective drugs for UC have been released in recent years, and more are currently being tested. “It’s never a good time to have UC, but compared to years past, there are some new treatment options and a lot more in the pipeline that give patients options they didn’t have before,” said Sandborn, referring to the wide range of tumor necrosis factor-alpha antagonist treatments recently released, which help UC patients avoid using steroids as first treatment options. “We’ve had three anti-TNF drugs approved over the last 9 years. That’s a big advancement for the treatment of UC,” he added. The advancement of these new therapies for Ulcerative Colitis, according to Sandborn, also hinges on how versatile new therapies are in treating the disease, since not everyone reacts the same way to the same treatment. According to author Shirley Pulawski at Healio Gastroenterology, Sandborn highlighted a group of treatments currently in the product development pipeline, such as the recently-approved vedolizumab from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which “blocks the alpha-4 beta-7 integrin receptor and blocks lymphocyte trafficking into the gut," which Sandborn notes is a new mechanism of action for treating UC. Sandborn also added that available data indicated that this drug “doesn’t have significant systemic immunosuppressant properties, so that differentiates it from older drugs,” and many patients in clinical trials showed and maintained an improvement in their con
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