We Know IBD - More on IBD

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Did you know that there have been more than 3,000 clinical trials devoted to learning about IBD?1

Many of them have taken place in the last 20 years and have provided people around the world with new understanding of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease. New developments are only possible because of volunteers who have participated in clinical research.

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see what we've learned!


First appearance of the term "ulcerative colitis":

"Ulcerative colitis" was first used in 1859 to describe findings in an autopsy performed on a 42-year-old woman. Crohn's disease wasn't recognized as a separate condition until 1932.2

First IBD clinical trial:

The first randomized, controlled clinical trial on IBD came in 1955 from Dr. Sidney Truelove, which led to corticosteroids as a treatment option for severe UC.2

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) discovered:

In 1975, researchers discovered a protein called tumor necrosis factor. TNF is a small protein that is made by cells in the immune system and usually appears when the body has inflammation or an infection. This discovery has been incredibly important to our understanding of how the body reacts to IBD, because TNF is a key driver and regulator of the body's inflammatory response.3 Although TNF is part of the body's natural defense system, this regulation is disrupted in IBD.

Biologics emerge as IBD treatment:

Researchers discovered that biologics, or medications made from engineered antibodies, can target the inflammation associated with IBD. Medications for IBD began to move beyond symptom control and started to focus on healing the mucosa-the innermost lining of the GI tract. The first biologic that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat IBD was on August 24, 1998.4 It specifically targets TNF to reduce the inflammatory response.

Biologics in IBD treatment:

Biologics have changed the way IBD has been treated, and we only made that discovery thanks to IBD patients who participated in clinical research.

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First approved Crohn's disease treatment for children:

About 20-25% of people with IBD are first diagnosed in childhood or adolescence.5 The first medication that was approved by the FDA to treat Crohn's disease in children was in 2006.6

First approved UC treatment for children:

The same medication that was approved by the FDA to treat Crohn's disease in children was also the first UC medication ever approved for children-this approval was received in 2011.7

Biomarkers help guide diagnosis and treatment:

Right now, there's no accurate way to predict the course of IBD over the long term, and treatment may depend on the type of Crohn's disease or UC that a person has. But researchers are looking at biomarkers-molecules found in blood, other body fluids, and tissues that may indicate a specific disease or type of disease. Certain biomarkers have potential to indicate unstable disease control in IBD,8 which may help guide individual treatment options and improve management of IBD.9

Where are we now?

Although there is not yet a cure for IBD, the medications approved so far have expanded treatment options and made a significant impact on those affected. These advances have been made possible by volunteers who have participated in IBD research. In the United States, recent estimates indicate that 7.6% of those affected by IBD have been involved in research.10

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Shutting down the critics and getting involved in clinical research takes GUTS.

Your participation may also help present a more accurate picture of the diverse group of people affected by IBD. Research has shown that certain diseases and medications may impact people differently based on several factors, including race and ethnicity.11


Past clinical research has mostly focused on white patients. And while there has been research conducted in diverse communities, it has sometimes caused mistrust, such as the Tuskegee trial on African-American men and the birth control trial in Puerto Rico. Ensuring that all groups are safely represented in clinical research is the only way to develop treatments that work for everyone.

With the number of IBD cases rising in diverse communities,12 it's important for all communities to have a voice in clinical research. By being more inclusive, we can:

Provide opportunities to contribute to clinical research to underserved communities

Support the development of effective treatments for all patients

Build trust for clinical research in underserved communities

Increase awareness of how basic research learnings can turn into real-life knowledge that can directly impact human health


Janssen is committed to better serving IBD patients in underrepresented communities and bringing our IBD trials to them. Here's how:

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