5 Major Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Treatment

Breakthrough research was presented at the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®, a meeting to transform IBD care

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) are committed to improving the lives of the estimated 1 in 100 Americans living with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. That’s why we’ve partnered on the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress, an annual meeting where IBD care providers gather to learn about the latest advancements in IBD patient care.


Below is a summary of five impactful studies presented at the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress. To speak with the study authors or review all 191 abstracts presented, email [email protected].


Lymphoma not associated with anti-TNF therapy in pediatric IBD patients

Study title: Low risk of lymphoma in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease treated using anti-tumor necrosis factor agents


Presented by Matthew D. Egberg, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Significance: Anti-tumor necrosis factor (aTNF) drugs are among the most effective medications used to treat pediatric IBD. Despite their effectiveness, concerns regarding an association with lymphoma limit their use in everyday practice. Based on a large, geographically diverse administrative insurance claims database of 9,284 pediatric IBD patients, treatment with aTNF agents and/or immune modulators was not associated with an increased risk of malignancy. These results support prioritization of the clinical benefits of aTNF agents over the low risk for malignancy.


Noteworthy new drug in pipeline for Crohn’s disease


Study title: AZD4205, a selective, GI tract-enriched selective JAK1 inhibitor for Crohn's disease: preclinical evidence and Phase I data


Presented by Mei Wang, Dizal Pharmaceuticals


Significance: There is no cure for Crohn’s disease and currently available drugs do not work for all patients, so advances in treatments are closely watched by physicians and patients. An early Phase I study shows promise for AZD4205 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. AZD4205 is an oral, ATP-competitive, JAK1 selective inhibitor. Nonclinical data showed its higher drug concentration within the GI tract relative to plasma in the rodents, suggesting its potential as an effective and safe treatment option for patients with Crohn’s disease. AZD4205 was also evaluated in a Phase I study in healthy volunteers where it was well-tolerated with no drugrelated adverse events. A Phase II study in moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease is planned.


This microbiome-targeting diet improves symptoms for IBD patients

Study title: Diet as a microbiome-centered therapy for IBD


Presented by Ana Maldonado-Contreras, UMASS Medical School


Significance: IBD patients have an imbalance of gut bacteria, which contributes to inflammation. Researchers at UMASS Medical School developed the IBD-Anti-Inflammatory Diet (IBD-AID™) to restore the balance between helpful and harmful bacteria while promoting good nutrition. In their trial, the majority (61.3%) of patients who complied with the diet for at least 8 weeks reported a dramatic decrease in disease severity. IBD-AID™ also prompted an increase in the abundance of bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) thus dampening inflammation and assisting in patient’s remission. The diet focuses on increased intake of prebiotic and probiotic foods and other beneficial foods while substituting certain carbohydrates and other adverse foods.


This research was funded in part by the AGA Research Foundation.


Thanks to biologics, less ulcerative colitis patients need their colon removed


Study title: Natural history of colectomy among hospitalized patients with ulcerative colitis in the contemporary era of treatments


Presented by Fernando Velayos, Kaiser Permanente


Significance: The rate of colectomy (surgical removal of a patient’s colon) within the first year after hospital admission for ulcerative colitis has declined in the modern era of biologics. A study conducted at a large health care delivery organization identified that 5.3% of patients underwent colectomy during their first hospitalization for ulcerative colitis and 11.9% underwent colectomy within the first year after hospitalization, compared to historical rates of 20% and 30%, respectively, in the same population pre-biologics. This research provides cause for optimism that the natural history of colectomy in acute severe ulcerative colitis may be different and modifiable in the modern biologic era compared to the past.


Siblings close in age may make the best fecal microbiota donor for ulcerative colitis patients


Study title: Donor selection of fecal microbiota transplantation is important to long-term maintenance of ulcerative colitis


Presented by Koki Okahara, Juntendo University Hospital


Significance: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is still an emerging treatment for ulcerative colitis. This study is the first to reveal importance of FMT donor selection for long-term maintenance for ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis patients treated with fresh FMT from a spouse or relative following triple-antibiotic therapy (amoxicillin, fosfomycin and metronidazole) had a significantly higher response compared to patients who just received antibiotic therapy. Siblings relationship has a significantly higher maintenance rate at 12 months compared to parent–child relationship. Furthermore, response was significantly higher in cases where the age difference between donor and patient was less than 10 years.


All abstracts accepted to the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress will be published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases® (the official journal of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation) and Gastroenterology (the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association) on Jan. 23, 2020.


Attribution to the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress® is requested in all coverage.



Media contacts:

Jeanine Kober, 646-943-7481

Rachel Shubert, 301-272-1603


About the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®

The Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®, took place Jan. 23-25, 2020, in Austin, Texas, combined the strengths of the nation’s leading IBD patient organization, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and the premier GI professional association, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Together we are committed to convening the greatest minds in IBD to transform patient care. The Crohn’s & Colitis Congress is the must-attend meeting for all IBD professionals. Learn more at crohnscolitiscongress.org.


About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD. Our work is dramatically accelerating the research process through our database and investment initiatives; we also provide extensive educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org, call 888-694-8872, or email [email protected].


About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org.