Disease Overview

UC is a chronic disease characterized by diffuse mucosal inflammation in the colon1

UC is an inflammatory bowel disease that likely develops due to abnormalities leading to aggressive immune responses against commensal enteric bacteria and consequent GI mucosal inflammation.2,3

Symptoms and severity can vary, and may include bloody diarrhea often with prominent symptoms of rectal urgency and tenesmus.1 While the cause of UC is unknown, studies indicate genetics and environmental factors appear to influence disease risk.3


Prevalence of UC is increasing3

It is estimated that 550,000-748,000 people in the United States suffer from UC, with prevalence increasing with age.3,4 This is an increase from 2005 data that, due to the low mortality of the condition, will likely continue with the growth of the population of the United States.3

UC can affect people of any age, with onset most commonly occurring between ages 15 and 40, and some studies suggest that UC is more prevalent in men than women, while other research has found no gender predominance.5,6


Existing UC Therapies have limitations

Existing therapies for symptomatic relief of UC include anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, surgeries such as proctocolectomy, and aminosalicylic drugs.7 However, because these treatments are not entirely satisfactory for some patients, due to limited efficacy and associated side effects and risks, additional medications are needed.8,9

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  1. Kornbluth A, Sachar DB; The Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Ulcerative colitis practice guidelines in adults: American College of Gastroenterology, Practice Parameters Committee. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010;105:501-523.
  2. Sartor RB. Mechanisms of disease: pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;3(7):390-407.
  3. Kappelman MD, Moore KR, Allen JK, Cook SF. Recent trends in the prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in a commercially insured US population. Dig Dis Sci. 2013;58:519-525.
  4. Cohen RD, Yu AP, Wu EQ, Xie J, Mulani PM, Chao J. Systematic review: the costs of ulcerative colitis in western countries. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010;31:693-707.
  5. Langan RC, Gotsch PB, Krafczyk MA, Skillinge DD. Ulcerative colitis: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76(9):1323-1330.
  6. Bickston SJ, Waters HC, Dabbous O, Tang B, Rahman MI. Administrative claims analysis of all-cause annual costs of care and resource utilization by age category for ulcerative colitis patients. J Manag Care Pharm. 2008;14(4):352-362.
  7. Mayo Clinic website. Diseases and conditions. Ulcerative colitis: treatments and drugs. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/basics/treatment/con-20043763. Accessed April 28, 2016.
  8. Engel MA, Neurath MF. New pathophysiological insights and modern treatment of IBD. J Gastroenterol. 2010;45:571–583.
  9. Shailubhai K, Palejwala V, Arjunan KP, et al. Plecanatide and dolcanatide, novel guanylate cyclase-C agonists, ameliorate gastrointestinal inflammation in experimental models of murine colitis. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2015;6(4):213-222.