A new study from researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine revealed that a human antibody used to treat arthritis helped treat patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease — good news considering there is no current standard treatment for the inflammatory bowel disease.

Results of the clinical trial will appear in the New England Journal of Medicine. The randomized study found that patients receiving the antibody, called ustekinumab, went into remission from Crohn’s after six weeks. The research team also found that inflammatory bowel disease patients who were injected with ustekinumab every 8 to 12 weeks maintained remission, Medical XPress reported.

"A high percentage of the patients in the study who had not responded to conventional therapies were in clinical remission after only a single dose of intravenous ustekinumab," said researcher William J. Sandborn, MD, according to Medical XPress.

Crohn’s disease may affect as many as 780,000 Americans and is most common among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. Currently, there is no standard treatment that’ll be effective for all patients suffering from the inflammatory bowel disease, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

"Finding effective new treatment options for this patient population is critical because Crohn's disease can dramatically impact a person's quality of life,” he added. “Patients suffering from this disease may go to the bathroom up to 20 times a day and experience abdominal pain, ulcers and a reduced appetite."

Source: Feagan BG, Sandborn WJ, Friedman JR, Blank MA, Sands BE, et al. Ustekinumab as Induction and Maintenance Therapy for Crohn's Disease, New England Journal of Medicine. 2016.

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