Thanks to research by Dr. Daniel Drucker, Senior Investigator with Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, the FDA has just approved a drug to treat patients with short bowel syndrome, a debilitating condition often associated with colon cancer and IBD patients.
The drug, called teduglutide or Gattex®, will be marketed by NPS Pharmaceuticals and is the first long-term treatment advance for this condition in nearly 40 years. Patients will have access to the drug in the United States beginning in the first quarter of 2013.
Short bowel syndrome occurs in patients who have had half or more of their small intestine removed due to Crohn’s disease, bowel injury, cancer, or following damage to the intestine due to insufficient blood supply. As a result, patients cannot absorb enough water, vitamins or other nutrients required by their body and rely on intravenous feeding to stay nourished.
“This new treatment will have a significant impact on the quality of their lives. Approximately 70 percent of patients with short bowel syndrome are unemployed because of the daily difficulties of this condition. Another significant concern for patients who rely on IV nutrition is the risk of infection near the catheterization site,” says Dr. Daniel Drucker.
The new drug, a gut hormone named Tedglutide, promotes repair and normal growth of the intestine and increases absorption in patients with this condition. Dr. Drucker first discovered Tedglutide during his years as a researcher at UHN and today, his work in the field of gut hormones and their actions in diabetes, obesity and inflammatory bowel disorders at Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute is internationally recognized.
“It is touching and very humbling, to see the significant impact that teduglutide has already had on patients during clinical trials,” says Dr. Drucker. “In an ongoing study, one in seven patients treated to date with tedglutide have successfully managed to discontinue intravenous nutrition.”