Gut Liver.  2015 Jan;9(1):18-27. 10.5009/gnl14226.

Current and Emerging Biologics for Ulcerative Colitis

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Conventional medical treatment for ulcerative colitis can have limited efficacy or severe adverse reactions requiring additional treatment or colectomy. Hence, different biological agents that target specific immunological pathways are being investigated for treating ulcerative colitis. Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents were the first biologics to be used for treating inflammatory bowel disease. For example, infliximab and adalimumab, which are anti-TNF agents, are being used for treating ulcerative colitis. Recently, golimumab, another anti-TNF agent, and vedolizumab, an anti-adhesion therapy, have been approved for ulcerative colitis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, new medications such as tofacitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor, and etrolizumab, another anti-adhesion therapy, are emerging as therapeutic agents. Therefore, there is a need for further studies to select appropriate patient groups for these biologics and to improve the outcomes of ulcerative colitis treatment through appropriate medical usage.


Biological therapies; Ulcerative colitis

MeSH Terms

Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use
Biological Factors/*therapeutic use
Cell Adhesion Molecules/antagonists & inhibitors
Colitis, Ulcerative/*drug therapy
Janus Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors
Piperidines/therapeutic use
Pyrimidines/therapeutic use
Pyrroles/therapeutic use
Antibodies, Monoclonal
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
Biological Factors
Cell Adhesion Molecules
Janus Kinases
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