Relief may soon be on the way for more than a million Americans who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases and do not respond to or cannot tolerate the side effects of current medications.Research out today by doctors at the University of California, San Diego shows that a new drug called vedolizumab works well for both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, usually without severe side effects.Doctors reported the results in two studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The ulcerative colitis research involved 895 patients in 34 countries. More than 1,100 Crohn’s disease patients from 39 countries were also studied. The researchers followed subjects for one year.“That the drug works in two diseases is a great thing,” said lead researcher Dr. William Sandborn in an interview with Healthline. “It’s easier for doctors to get experience for the drug, and that knowledge and experience really translates into better patient care. You acquire the knowledge quicker, and I think that’s exciting.”Takeda Pharmaceuticals funded the research and filed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug in June.

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