Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD: New Targets for IBD Drugs

January 31, 2022
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

The majority of drugs in development for IBD target inflammation.

Albeit early in the process, investigators from the Cleveland Clinic are hoping to see continued success in a new medication for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) targeting a protein that is known to prevent healing in this patient population.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at the Cleveland Clinic, said the majority of treatments for IBD tend to focus on the inflammatory condition brought on by either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

“90% of the drugs that are in clinical trials right now do that,” Stappenbeck said. “And there’s a real interest in trying to target real bonafide targets that effect the ability of ulcers and wounds in patients with inflammatory bowel disease to stimulate them to heal.”

The drug they developed is a small molecule inhibitor that can be taken orally for patients with IBD to try to stimulate the repair process.

Stappenbeck said this drug could fill a gap in IBD drug development, where many are targeting inflammation.

He also said this drug could bridge the gap between interested clinical results and realistic pharmacological options.