Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is characterized as aninflammatory disorder, mainly of the colon and small intestine. Two major types of IBD exist: Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Ulcerative colitis causes long-lasting inflammation predominantly in the large intestine. The main symptom of active disease is usually constant diarrhea mixed with blood.

Ulcerative colitis occurs in 35–100 people for every 100,000 in the United States or lessthan 0.1% of the population. Approaching 1 million sufferers in the United States (2 million US/EU/Japan). More prevalent in the Western World but increasing in Japan and South America. One-third of patients diagnosed at 10-19 years of age.

The disease accounts for 250 million annual physician visits; 30,000 hospitalizations; and a loss of over one million workdays per year. The onset of UC is most common between 15 and 40 years of age, with a second peakbetween 50 and 80 years of age.


Current treatments for mild to moderate Ulcerative Colitis are all reformulations of 5-ASA/mesalamine. In spite of the high failure rates of 5-ASA treatments, 40%-50%, no innovation has occurred over the past several decades.