Scientific corner

Emerging drugs for the treatment of ulcerative colitis

Luca Pastorelli 1Theresa T PizarroFabio CominelliMaurizio Vecchi Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2009 Sep;14(3):505-21. doi: 10.1517/14728210903146882.

Background: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorder of the colon for which the etiology is currently unknown. At present, strategies to treat UC are primarily targeted to control inflammation during active phases of disease as well as maintain remission during quiescence. As such, several unmet needs in the treatment of UC still remain. In recent years, basic research has led to the recognition of several key factors in the pathogenesis of UC, translating into the development of several novel therapeutic agents. Objective: The aim of this study is to review emerging therapies that may advance the treatment and improve the overall care of UC patients. Methods: An extensive literature search on published manuscripts and meeting proceedings has been performed to provide a comprehensive review of future drug therapies to treat UC. Results/conclusion: The translational application of new discoveries in the basic understanding of UC pathogenesis is continuing and critical for the development of novel treatment strategies. Design of novel biologic therapies to treat UC has the challenge of addressing potential safety issues, while more traditional drugs should be further developed to facilitate patient compliance to treat this chronic, debilitating disease.

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