Study led by UChicago Medicine physician finds new treatment for ulcerative colitis

June 21, 2024
Rubin presented the results to a standing-room-only audience at the American Gastroenterological Association’s Digestive Disease Week meeting in Washington, D.C. in May.

A medication used for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is proving to be an effective treatment for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in the findings of a global study led by University of Chicago Medicine’s David T. Rubin, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

The medication, guselkumab (Tremfya), is an antibody that blocks IL-23, the cytokine that drives many immune diseases, including ulcerative colitis. It can be administered as an injection or through an infusion.

The Phase III QUASAR maintenance study showed that Tremfya can achieve symptomatic remission and also bowel healing, with a notably high rate of this important endpoint, Rubin said. The unique bowel healing capabilities help keep the disease in remission.

Nearly 50% of the patients in this maintenance study were in clinical remission after 44 weeks, meaning most or all of the disease’s symptoms were gone, and 69% achieved endoscopic remission, meaning the physician saw no signs of inflammation, ulcers or bleeding in the bowel.

The use of Tremfya to treat ulcerative colitis is now awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is expected later this year or early next year.

UChicago Medicine release on Newswise