MMX mesalazine [LIALDA (US), MEZAVANT XL (UK and Ireland) MEZAVANT (elsewhere)] utilizes MMX Multi Matrix System (MMX) technology which delivers mesalazine throughout the colon. Two phase III studies have already evaluated MMX mesalazine in patients with active, mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. Aim To provide more precise estimates of the efficacy of MMX mesalazine over placebo by combining the patient populations from the two phase III studies. Methods Combined data from two 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were analyzed. Patients randomized to MMX mesalazine 2.4 g/day (once daily or 1.2 g twice daily), 4.8 g/day (once daily) or placebo were reviewed. The primary end point was clinical and endoscopic remission (modified Ulcerative Colitis-Disease Activity Index of </=1 calculated as: rectal bleeding and stool frequency scores of 0, a combined Physician's Global Assessment and sigmoidoscopy score of </=1, no mucosal friability and a >/=1-point reduction in sigmoidoscopy score from week 0). Results Data from 517 patients were analysed. 8-week remission rates were 37.2% and 35.1% in the MMX mesalazine 2.4 g/day and 4.8 g/day groups, vs. 17.5% on placebo (P < 0.001, both comparisons). 8-week complete mucosal healing rates were 32% in both MMX mesalazine groups compared with 16% on placebo. Adverse event frequency was similar in all groups. Conclusion MMX mesalazine is effective and generally well tolerated for inducing clinical and endoscopic remission of active, mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis.