New agent for the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases

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On 1 July, the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology and Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg launched a multi-centre confirmatory preclinical study to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of a new agent for the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases are recurring or persistent inflammatory intestinal diseases. In Germany, around 320,000 patient suffer from the two most common forms of these diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The inflammatory reactions cause lasting damage to the intestinal mucous membrane, which, in many cases, results in serious health problems, such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea and blood in the stool. The mechanism of the agent examined as part of this project is based on the bonding and activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which is, e.g., expressed by epithelial cells in barrier tissues (in particular in the intestine, lungs and skin), as well as by different types of immune cells and plays a fundamental role in regulating the immune response.

This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with a sum of approx. EUR 1.5 million over a three-year period and is being coordinated by Fraunhofer IZI.