Is a New Crohn’s Disease Treatment on the Horizon?

vials of medication

Oct. 17, 2012 — A drug used to treat psoriasis may provide a much-needed option for people with bad cases of Crohn’s disease. 

In the new study, some people with moderate to severe Crohn’s given Stelara (ustekinumab) began to see improvements in their symptoms within six weeks.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease marked by inflammation and damage of any part of the digestive tract.

Inflammation plays a central role in both Crohn’s and the skin disease psoriasis. Stelara blocks two proteins that promote inflammation. A commonly used class of drugs for Crohn’s blocks the activity of another protein that promotes inflammation called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Treatments in this class include Cimzia, Humira, and Remicade.

Humira Approved for Ulcerative Colitis Treatment

Sept. 28, 2012 — The FDA has approved Abbott’s Humira for the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.

Humira (adalimumab) now is approved for both forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

It was already approved to treat Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

For ulcerative colitis, Humira is approved when other drugs to suppress immune responses haven’t worked.

“Each patient with ulcerative colitis experiences the disease differently, and treatment must be adjusted to meet each individual’s needs,” says Donna Griebel, MD, director of the FDA’s gastroenterology division. “Today’s approval provides an important new treatment option for patients who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy.”