Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Patients with IBD are at increased risk for medical complications and decreased quality of life.
IBD is a term commonly used to describe two distinct diseases, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). These diseases are caused by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal track causing significant complications such as infections, fistulas, and death. It is estimated that in 2015 1.3% of Americans (3 million) are diagnosed with IBD, which represents an increase from 0.9% in 1999. It is unclear why the incidence rate for IBD is increasing but it is clearly becoming a significant issue on the health care system. It is estimated that the cost of managing an IBD patient is 3X of a patient without IBD.
CD is often patchy and may affect both the small and large bowel. The inflammation associated with Crohn’s penetrates multiple mucosal layers and may cause fistula formation with other parts of the bowel or even other organs. UC tends to affect the most superficial mucosa and is continuous in its pattern often involving the rectum. The current treatments for IBD involves systemic drugs that suppresses the immune system which may lead to other complications with the mainstay requiring intravenous infusions.
Macrophages have receptors that bind proinflammatory cytokines, which are believed to cause the localized inflammations associated with IBD. An orally delivered macrophage nanosponge that is released into the gut to help eliminate the local bowel inflammation without any systemic effects will offer a welcomed therapeutic option.