Approximately 5.7 million people worldwide suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (“IBD”). Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are two major forms of IBD. UC is a disease characterized by recurring episodes of inflammation of the colon lining (mucosa). Typical UC symptoms include pain, chronic diarrhea, bleeding, and urgency to use the restroom. More severe symptoms include malnutrition, stunted growth (in pediatric cases), and an increased risk of colon cancer.
There is no known cure for UC. Options to manage the symptoms of UC include 5-ASA (aspirin-like drugs, for mild cases), systemic corticosteroids and immunomodulators including biologics (for moderate to severe cases). While 5‐ASA is fairly benign, biologics (immunosuppressing drugs) can lead to severe side effects including tuberculosis, skin cancer, or lymphoma. Regardless of the treatment option, 20-30% of UC patients are unresponsive to any drugs and have no alternatives except to undergo colectomy (removal of the colon), a major surgery that leads to challenging, lifelong lifestyle changes.
- Autoimmune disease, life long, no cure
- Colon lining (mucosa) breaks down, colon stops functioning
- Chronic diarrhea, bleeding, pain, urgency, malnutrition, dehydration
- Significantly increased colon cancer risk in UC patients
- UC increasing worldwide because of environmental component
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) affects 750,000 patients in the United States and approximately 6 million patients worldwide.
- The onset of UC is usually diagnosed in patients between the ages of 15 and 30 years, with a second peak in incidence between 50 and 75 years of age. Men and women are equally affected by UC.
There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis.
Approximately thirty to fifty percent (30%-50%) of those afflicted with ulcerative colitis fail to attain an enduring state of remission through current treatment options that include amino salicylates for mild cases to systemic corticosteroids and immunosuppressants for more severe cases.
Failure to attain a state of remission presents the patient with the prospects of either colon removal, a lengthy and difficult surgery that leads to challenging, lifelong lifestyle changes, or continued drug therapy. The surgical, and most of the pharmacological therapies, subject the patient to potentially debilitating physical and/or psychological side effects.
UC Treatment Paradigm