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Pitt Collaborates with Janssen to Study and Tailor New Treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

PITTSBURGH, April 8, 2015 – Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh will collaborate with Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen) on a project to study the effectiveness of potential new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A research team led by Ian McGowan, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, Pitt School of Medicine, will use tissue samples from patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two types of IBD, as well as from healthy volunteers, to evaluate experimental medicines developed by Janssen. 
“This is a wonderful opportunity to advance future therapeutic approaches that may one day benefit patients living with IBD,” Dr. McGowan said. “We hope that this process will guide us to more effective treatments for these complex immune-mediated diseases.”
More than 7,000 IBD patients are seen each year by physicians in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Pitt and UPMC, which is led by David Whitcomb, M.D., Ph.D., Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics and professor of medicine, Pitt School of Medicine.
“The integration of an outstanding clinical IBD program with cutting-edge basic science research teams to introduce the best new therapies to patients who desperately need them can only happen in a few places in the world,” Dr. Whitcomb said. “Everyone here is committed to the success of this program at every level, by every measure.”
The project was coordinated by the university’s Pharmaceutical Collaborations Committee, which is chaired by D. Lansing Taylor, Ph.D., director of Pitt’s Drug Discovery Institute.

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