Nav: Home

New oral drug effective treatment for ulcerative colitis, researchers say

September 16, 2015

ATLANTA--A novel, one-step method to treat ulcerative colitis with an oral drug consisting of microparticles and natural herbal molecules that target the colon shows promise as an effective therapy, according to researchers from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University and Southwest University in China.

The findings, published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces in August, suggest a treatment for ulcerative colitis that has the properties of pH-sensitivity, controlled drug release and colon targeting. The curcumin-loaded microparticles show potential as a scalable drug carrier for the efficient clinical treatment of this chronic gastrointestinal disease.

"Orally administered microparticles may offer an efficient drug delivery system because they are characterized by a high drug loading capacity and may target colitis tissues based on abnormalities," said Didier Merlin, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State.

The researchers used an emulsion-solvent evaporation method to fabricate pH-sensitive microparticles that are composed of a biocompatible polymer and loaded with curcumin, an efficient anti-inflammatory agent that is extracted from a natural herbal source. Studies show that curcumin can weaken inflammation in animals with colitis and reduce the relapse rate of ulcerative colitis in animals in pre-clinical experiments.

The team determined the most effective makeup for the microparticles by altering several factors to improve their loading efficiency and the release of curcumin. They tested the microparticles in mice induced with ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis, a chronic relapsing disease associated with uncontrolled inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, is a subtype of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and often affects the innermost mucosa of the intestine. The goal for ulcerative colitis therapy is to control inflammation, heal the mucosa and reduce surgeries and hospitalizations.

Despite advances in drug development, there is an unmet need for a carrier system that is capable of delivering a drug specifically and exclusively to the inflamed region for a prolonged time, Merlin said.

Drug treatments for ulcerative colitis are now administered through intravenous therapy and are dispersed throughout the body, instead of directly targeting the colon, thus requiring much higher doses and causing unwanted side effects, Merlin said.

Until a decade ago, traditional treatments were limited to anti-inflammatory drugs and immune-suppressive medications, which have short and long-term debilitating side effects. In the last decade, several targeted therapeutic approaches have been developed, including inhibitors of inflammatory cytokines (anti-TNFα agents) that induce T-lymphocyte apoptosis, or cell death. Anti-TNFα agents are among the most potent drugs in the treatment of IBD, but their use is limited by serious side effects.
-end-
Collaborators for the project include Bo Xiao and Mingzhen Zhang of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and Xiaoying Si of Southwest University in Chongqing, China.

The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and the American Heart Association.

To view the study, visit http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927776515301156.

Georgia State University

Related Ulcerative Colitis Articles:

Fecal microbiota transplant is safe and effective for patients with ulcerative colitis
A single transplant of microbes contained in the stool of a healthy donor is a safe and effective way to increase diversity of good bacteria in the guts of patients with ulcerative colitis, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.
Yoga helps patients with ulcerative colitis
Patients with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, often relapse at times of stress.
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and AGA announce conference partnership
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association announced today that they are partnering to co-sponsor the first-ever 'Crohn's & Colitis Congress,' which will take place in Las Vegas in January 2018.
Low level vitamin D during remission contributes to relapse in ulcerative colitis patients
A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found that lower levels of vitamin D in the blood increase the risk of clinical relapse in patients with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the colon.
U-M researchers discover what makes drug for ulcerative colitis tick
For approximately 70 years, physicians have used a medication containing the active agent mesalamine to treat ulcerative colitis, but little was known about how the drug targeted the inflammatory bowel disease.
Protozoan parasite increases risk of colitis, study reveals
Researchers from the University of Toronto have discovered that mice infected with the common gut parasite Tritrichomonas muris are at an increased risk of developing inflammatory colitis.
Iron-deficiency anemia in ulcerative colitis -- many patients don't get testing and treatment
Many patients with ulcerative colitis don't receive recommended testing and treatment for the common problem of iron deficiency anemia, reports a study in the October issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, official journal of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).
Transplanting healthy stool might be an answer to ulcerative colitis
Fecal microbiota transplantation -- a treatment currently used to address recurring Clostridium difficile infection -- is also an effective approach to helping individuals who suffer from ulcerative colitis, according to a study being presented at Digestive Disease Week®.
Study advances understanding of colon cancer and colitis
The transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4-alpha (HNF4-alpha) plays a key role in colon cancer and colitis.
Study shows ozanimod as effective in treating ulcerative colitis
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have shown that ozanimod (RPC1063), a novel drug molecule, is moderately effective in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

Related Ulcerative Colitis Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...