Biotech Drug Shows Promise Against Ulcerative Colitis

A genetically engineered molecule has done well in a trial against ulcerative colitis, the painful disease caused by an immune system attack on the body's intestinal tissue. A third of the patients who received daily injections of the molecule had remissions after six weeks, more than twice the rate for patents who got a placebo, according to a report in the June 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The test is a second step in the series of trials designed to bring a drug to market, explained Dr. Nancy Simonian, senior vice president for clinical, medical and regulatory affairs at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, the biotechnology firm that created the molecule and sponsored the trial.

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