US drug firms pioneer inflammatory bowel disease treatment

Leading insulin, statin companies set up r&d lab in New Jersey

Leading US drug companies are the authors of three inflammatory bowel disease drugs in clinical trials, and Pfizer’s new drug, oxybutynin (aka apixaban), is called a broad-spectrum antagonist.

Tests have found that the drug can block blood vessels carrying the immune cells thought to be involved in such conditions. The main chemical compound was developed in 2009 by Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim and it contains acetylcholine, a particularly useful agent in the body.

Pfizer is currently testing the drug in studies involving patients with two leading IBDs, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The company is working on a treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease of the immune system. It is also developing a cholesterol drug.

At an annual shareholder meeting this week, Diageo named two Pfizer scientists – Daniel Cohen and Jeff Hummel – as co-chairs of its new research and development centre in Clifton, New Jersey.

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