There is quite a bit of literature, and I’ll provide several links below this posting for you to investigate further, but the general idea on how this medication works is summed up in the quote below (copied page 6 of the actual Pfizer presentation that I was surprised to find online – feel free to read the full presentation here).
Unlike biologics, which target extracellular molecules such as pro-inflammatory cytokines, tofacitinib targets the intracellular signaling pathways that operate as hubs in the inflammatory cytokine network
My own interpretation in simple English: this new medication breaks up some of the body’s normal immune response chain of events. And with this, the physical inflammation(or symptoms as UC’ers see them) may be reduced.
Many of you have been asking what is going on in the world of new ulcerative colitis medications, and here is one example that once/if approved, I’m pretty sure we will all hear more from other UC’ers and GI doctors.
More info about Tofacitinib (Xeljanz – (Brand Name):
The name of the medication is a bit hard to get the hang of pronouncing so let’s not worry about that right:)
(I’m waiting for a drug company to take a chance and just call their UC drug: “The Buttfixer 5000”)
Here’s a little bit of background on this particular medication:
- The medication was discovered by Pfizer scientists in Groton, Connecticut (according to their report I referenced above)
- In November of 2012 the Food and Drug Administration (in the US) approved tofacitinib for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (another “auto-immune disease”)
- Results from their recent UC related Trial are detailed in this Report: “Randomized trial of tofacitinib in active ulcerative colitis: analysis of efficacy based on patient-reported outcomes” (which you can review here)
- Wikipedia page regarding Tofacitinib – click here
- Pfizer PDF showing (on page 6) the status of this medication as well as other IBD related medications: click here
- It appears that Pfizer is moving in a very similar direction as many of their competitors with regards to trying to gain approval for this medication across a range of auto-immune diseases (arthritis, psoriasis, IBD…)
Online Publications about Tofacitnib:
- Randomized trial of tofacitinib in active ulcerative colitis: analysis of efficacy based on patient-reported outcomes: click here to read full study
- Tofacitinib In Psoriatic Arthritis Subjects With Inadequate Response to TNF Inhibitors (currently as of Feb. 2015 Pfizer is in the middle of a clinical trial enrollment period for this same medication for treating another auto-immune disease- Psoriasis. Details about this clinical trial – click here
If you’re interested in learning more about this medication, I would encourage you to do some reading on PubMed.(If you’re wanting to learn how to use the PubMed resource, start on the How to Use PubMed Page. It’s really easy to use. Once on PubMed, you can search the word: “Tofacitinib” and in a general search you can lookup:
Also, bring it up with western medication gastroenterologist doctors. Alternative medication doctors/naturopaths are probably not going to be into something like this, but typical GI’s may be aware that this is on the horizon.
As more news comes in about this medication in terms of the FDA approval process, we’ll stay on-top of it and get it posted to the newsletter group.
OK, what do you think…
Tofacitnib and Xeljanz are pretty lame names if you asked me…
What would YOU call this medication if you were the official Pfizer UC Medication Namer person?
I started site and the eNewsletter(you can join that below) shortly after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in October of 2008 with severe pancolitis (when my whole colon was inflamed).
For me, it was a very rough start with severe symptoms. Getting bounced from medication to medication was not easy or too helpful. But, I did meet another UC’er, changes several parts of my diet, and of course the rest is history.
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