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Ulcerative Colitis Biologic Medications Now and Moving Forward

Adam Scheuer, founder of

Adam Scheuer, founder of

Hey UC’ers…Check This Out!

Recently, like just a few days ago… there was some research published to PubMed that I think will help clear up many questions UC’ers and family members have with regards to existing and future biologic medications we can expect to hear about.

We talk about medications such as Humira and Remicade quite a bit on the site (or their sidekick names: Infliximab and Adalimumab), but there are many other medications and names on the horizon for both Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The image below does a very good job of displaying graphically where things are at currently (early 2015).

Here is the Abstract from the study titled:

Current, new and future biological agents on the horizon for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (read full study – click here)

Biological agents for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF) have changed the way to treat IBD refractory to standard medications and allowed us to reach new therapeutic goals such as mucosal healing and deep remission. A better understanding of the components of the pathological processes that are a hallmark of IBD has led to the development of a new family of biological agents in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Biosimilars, which are copy versions of currently licensed biological agents, will be soon available. The biosimilar of infliximab is as effective and as safe as its originator in rheumatologic conditions, while a new anti-TNF agent, namely golimumab, has been recently approved for refractory ulcerative colitis. Beyond TNF blockers, anti-adhesion molecules appear to be a potent drug class for IBD. Vedolizumab was recently approved for both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Numerous other compounds are in the pipeline. Ustekinumab looks very promising for Crohn’s disease. Smad7 antisense oligonucleotide might enrich our armamentarium if preliminary data are confirmed in upcoming clinical trials. Herein, we review the efficacy and safety of new and emerging biological agents that are currently investigated in IBD clinical trials.

[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]Read Full Study – Click Here[/box]

ulcerative colitis biologics

Biologic Medications being developed and currently available for treating Ulcerative Colitis from pubmed article:

 Drug Names:

  • Golimumab = Simponi
  • Adalimumab = Humira
  • Infliximab = Remicade
  • Vedolizumab = Entyvio

**Also, one final note, the author(s) of this particular study have in the past received compensation from several of the drug companies who manufacture/develop several of the medications mentioned.  You can read more about that in the full study linked to above

My Personal Expectations on Biologics…

Most definitely I’m guessing companies like AbbVie (which sold roughtly $13 billion last year from Humira sales according to this article on Bloomberg…) will continue to bring in billions in profits from biologics.  Even with the current and up and coming “biosimilars”(think of biosimilars as the “generics” of biologic meds with similar but slightly different regulatory and FDA approval rules in some cases) which will continue to hit the markets in the coming years.

Will biologics continue to help many UC’ers and other IBD’ers and auto immune patients?…Of course!  They help many now, as is clearly evident from some of the positive reviews on the Remicade, Humira, and some other medication review pages here on

Without a doubt, biologic medications are big business, they help many folks, and they are here to stay.  They aren’t just an IBD thing either.  A whole bunch of auto-immune diseases are treated by biologics all over the globe.  Psoriasis and arthritis to name a few.

What can you do to learn more and stay on-top of this?

  • Talk to your Gastro doctors about what they are hearing and reading regarding new medications
  • Use the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) webpage search functionality.  They have a pretty easy to use search box that will find biologic related FDA news here – FDA Biologic Search Page
  • Stay on-top of new PubMed studies, once a month pay a quick visit to  (it’s a great resource)
  • Join the iHaveUC newsletter…I’ll try my best to keep you up to date on this automatically – join here

adamThanks for reading, and to read reviews from existing UC biologics and other meds that are already approved for UC, you can check out the medication reviews pages here:



(** Now, I don’t think it would be fair for me to leave out a personal bit of experience I’ve had with biologics.  I myself have tried both Remicade and Humira to treat my UC that was active and at times very out of control back in 2009.  And, like many people Remicade right off the bat helped me out to the point where I noticed the first rock hard poop fly through the water down to the bottom of the toilet bowl for the first time in MONTHS!! heck, maybe years.

But, like a fair amount of others too…I stopped having the positive effects of the Remicade, maybe you could say my body became resistant to it after the first infusion and the second and third subsequent infusions were not helpful at all.  So, I eventually stopped taking it after three, and went to Humira shortly afterwards which was a nightmare for me. Skin problems, joint problems, and no help to my UC so stopped that shortly after starting too.  I was devastated to learn that these two big name meds, meds which I had to get certain blood tests and special screenings for simply were not working for me either.  It was tuff, sad, whatever you want to call it..but it happens.  And, luckily for me, within a few months I was treating my UC with food and diet changes and that believe it or not is what ended up getting me symptom free and off medications completely.  For a while I was way anti medications, and thought they were downright evil…but that has changed.  I don’t use meds for my UC, but I know many who use the site do, and many get great benefits from them.  And who knows, someday there might even be a UC medication that has zero side effects which helps a super high percentage of UC’ers.  Would be great right.  So in the end, I think its valuable to keep on top of the changes in the biologics world, and that’s part of why I’ve been focusing the past two posts of mine here on iHaveUC on this topic. )

I hope you read the published study, its pretty interesting.  And I hope you have a super rippin rest of the week.



15 thoughts on “Ulcerative Colitis Biologic Medications Now and Moving Forward”

    1. You’re welcome Bev!! I’m telling you, enough with the weird drug names right….when we gonna hear about the “BUTT BLASTER 5000” coming to market:)???

  1. Adam, thank you so much for this and for everything else you do!

    My young son was diagnosed with UC in March/2013 and has gone through the same terrible experiences and hospitalizations as most UCers, unfortunately. Fortunately, he was started on Remicade in September/2013, after pred didn’t work on his second hospitalization that summer, and it worked. The dose and frequency has recently been upped by his GI doc because although his colon is very good, he has suffered and is still suffering from Proctitis for about a year, but it is slowly improving.

    I try to keep up to date on anything to do with his disease, and this includes your wonderful site! Please keep up the great work!!

    With many thanks,


  2. Thanks alot Adam,

    I’m new to the site and recently diagnosed with UC after 6 months of symptoms. Its a nightmare but I’m trying diet changes and medication (Uceris).

    I appreciate the info,


  3. Great update Adam! Thanks for sharing all of this with us. The issue that hits us is that insurance companies are denying approval of these new biologics all over the place. It is insane to me that they can prevent you from getting access to drugs that can help save them over $100k worth of surgery costs when they have to yank your colon out because your IBD is so out of control. Insurance is a horrible beast that just keeps getting worse. Drives me insane!

  4. Thanks Adam I just wish Australia would fasten up getting these drugs approved they have only just improved inflixamab for UC and even then need to meet certain requirements before approved luckly I have been approved for Remicade now had my first loading dose last week so hoping this is my miracle drug.

  5. Adam,
    Thanks for the information. My fiancee has been battling his UC for 20+years. He just recently started Simponi. We’ve been trying everything but this flare up is hitting him hard. I’m using your site frequently and appreciate the updates. Thanks Again!

  6. I haven’t been on this site in awhile but hope to send an update soon. I have just been approved for Entyvio and have found the Facebook group Entyvio Warriors to be of great help. Some of the members were in the clinical trials and have actually been on it for 5 years. Many have had amazing success with very few side effects even after failing on the other big 2 biologics. My GI just got back from a 4 hour Entyvio update and is even more encouraged by the latest statistics on this drug. Like Adam, I have been med free for awhile using diet alone. I flared again and struggled to get back in remission. While waiting for Entyvio (6 weeks to get approved), I went back to the basics with diet and am back in remission. Now I have to decide whether to go ahead with infusions or wait for another flare. I asked advice on the fb page and overwhelmingly, current users said to start Entyvio to stay in remission. Interesting responses for sure.

    1. Dear Sharon,
      I have just been Diagonised with UC after a month of mild bleeding and have just started the med. Could you enlighten me on the diets and the exercise regime you follow. I just observed cashew nut and pistachio may end in a flare up.

  7. Thanks Adam for info… So here is my question. You have gone natural and all diet control for relief with no meds, but do you also suffer from chronic anemia as a result of your UC? My daughter was diagnosed 15 months ago at age 11…. Upon initial diagnosis it was with a 15 day hospitalization and we had 2 choices at that time, Remicade or Surgery. We went with remicade and got some relief in first 6 months, and then Oct 2014 hit rock bottom again. For the last 5 months we go every 2 weeks for iron infusions and 6 weeks remicade. We’re at max dose and probably heading to 4 weeks soon… The blood never stops! She can’t survive without her iron infusions and hasn’t had a hemoglobin above 11 in 5 months! We monitor diet very closely, but with LOTS of food allergies to boot….. I’m at frustration point and talking with DR’s all the time. As a teen she doesn’t want to discuss anything! I feel like I don’t know where to look next.

    Any suggestions regarding the chronic anemia as a result of the UC are greatly appreciated. Any other suggestions to help a mom keep her sanity are also helpful! I’m curious to know how many of your readers are parents of kids/teens with UC, not patient themselves.


    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for being another amazing mom of a young person with UC.

      Without trying to tell you what to do, since you’re doing a great job…first thing that came to my mind was to ask your daughter if she’d like to meet another person with UC. I hoping she’ll say yes. Next, ask around, friends, family, friends of friends of friends…etc… Maybe you already know someone with UC who she’s met. But, I think its normal for people, young or old not to want to talk about this “strange” disease.
      And…I’m thinking if she meets someone/others with UC in person…she’ll be alot more comfortable with talking about things with you. Just my guess, and yes, I’ve been wrong before, but its a great experience to meet another person of similar age with UC.


      I like many other UC’ers have struggled with that while in flares. However, when not in flares like now, that is not a problem. When there is active inflammation, even if its minor, it is often hard for UC’ers to recognize that there is also potential anemia going on too. Blood doesn’t always come out bright red as you probably know. It often finds a way to blend in, especially if its caused by inflammation farther up the line. I think it might be wise to talk with the GI doctor she works with, and get their opinion on longterm anemia, and if there is reason to maybe change up the treatment.

      If the anemia is caused by something outside of UC, of course that would be interesting but I’m guessing that’s not the case or you’ve ruled that out already.

      So unfortunately I don’t have a silver bullet solution to anemia. But I definitely feel that if full remission was going on, it would be hard to imagine it was UC related.

      wishing you two the very best,


  8. I was diagnosed with UC in 1998. I just had my 4th Entyvio infusion yesterday. It’s the only medication that I’m currently on. This is the first biologic that I’ve tried. So far, I’m pretty happy with the results. I haven’t felt this good in years. I know some are saying that it takes a while for the medicine to work, but I noticed improvements after my first infusion and it’s only gotten better since. The only side effect that I’m experiencing is a little fatigue the day of the infusion.

    It’s 1:23 pm here and I still haven’t had my number 2 today!! I don’t even know what to do with myself. I went to a meeting this morning at work and didn’t even think about the bathroom. That hasn’t happened in years!!!

    I’m also a part of the facebook group “Entyvio Warriors”. Lots of info shared there…

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