Preclinical evaluation of a novel therapeutic strategy for Ulcerative Colitis

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic relapsing intestinal inflammatory condition comprising of separate disease manifestations known as ulcerative colitis (UC) and crohns disease (CD). Despite significant advances in our understanding of the basic mechanisms which promote these diseases, current treatment strategies usually involve non specific suppression of the chronic inflammatory response and are ineffective in a large number of patients. Although the reasons for this are not fully understood, it seems likely to reflect the complex nature of chronic intestinal inflammation.
In an effort to define new, disease specific pathways in IBD, which offer potential for therapeutic targeting, we have been investigating mechanisms associated with the earliest phases of disease onset before chronicity has become established. We believe that this is a more likely successful approach which will allow us to target pathways and intervene early in disease progression before chronicity is reached. Through these studies we have identified a new pathway, known as the IL-36 pathway, which we have found plays a significant role in the development of UC.
This proposal aims to develop a new approach to specifically target this pathway for therapeutic intervention and improve disease outcomes.

Award Date
23 October 2015
Award Value
€328,668
Principal Investigator
Dr Patrick Walsh
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Scheme
Health Research Awards